First published on LinkedIn.
"In a time of destruction, create something." - Maxine Hong Kingston
This quote struck a cord with me. It reminded me that it can be easy to destroy...to HATE. Sometimes even I fall back into the old thinking of 'us vs. them.' But we can't let this type of thinking take over.
In my line of work, I have come to understand that Diversity is an ongoing journey. And it doesn't stop there. Now we need to bring the full scope of Diversity, which includes Equity and Inclusion, to foster true Belonging. How can we create a culture of true innovation if we cannot allow our employees to be their full selves? Everyone, including myself and your leaders, has something to learn and something to gain from doing their part to create a place of Inclusion and Belonging for all. Corporate America's long history of discrimination and inequality affects communities beyond the business world.
In honor of National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to share this statistic with you. Interestingly, the place where the AAPI community is at highest risk is not in public; but rather in their place of work: 35.4% of discrimination toward members of the AAPI community is a direct result of workplace discrimination!
Now...you would think that based on so-called 'positive' stereotypes that perhaps the AAPI community wouldn't be treated this way. But in actuality, research shows that those who hold such notions (such as the 'model minority' myth) are, in fact, more likely to hold prejudices against AAPI persons.
Be thoughtful and intentional. Diversity is a marathon... not a sprint! This work will never be truly "done" because there's always room for improvement, whether it's due to gender, race, age, religion, disability – the social categories are endless. And isn't that what we want?
According to the UN, May 21 is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development. It's time for business leaders to listen in and be COMPASSIONATE. Too long have we been telling our teams to leave personal conversations at the door. What's been realized all this time is we've been telling our employees to leave a part of themselves at home and not allowing them to be their true authentic selves at work, thus reducing the likelihood of engagement and increased productivity and innovation. It's time to tear down all barriers to entry for all employees.
Until next time...stay safe & be healthy!