First published on LinkedIn.
The main event preoccupying our attention right now is the Midterm Election on November 8th. While it's easy to get caught up in all the mania of modern politics, it is important to remember that the elections will ultimately impact federal agencies due to a potential leadership shakeup, which in turn could influence Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) efforts. It may not be apparent at first glance but DEIB work and elections have similarities:
Both can be considered "grassroots" in terms of their structure. In an election, it is in the best interest of the people to voice their concerns and desires for change within their community.
Both endeavors require a vocal mass, and an equally responsive leadership. Similarly, employees advocating for DEIB in the workplace strive to build a "culture of action" to ensure that initiatives are being implemented and acted upon.
We can see these being played out in American politics as well as the workplace through DEIB. The rise of Black women in politics and the increase of Black women in leadership roles demonstrate this shift in society toward servant leadership, which often comes from shared identity and a shared understanding of issues between the leader and individual. As history has shown...Black women have a voice and we are prepared to use it!!
Many incredible Black women have paved the way before us. We can thank Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hammer, Shirley Chisholm and Dorothy Height to name a few. While their efforts were focused on issues pertaining to Black women, we've ALL received benefit and as a result, it would be a disservice if we disengaged ourselves, whether in politics or at work. According to a recent survey, "67% of Black women say they’re more motivated to vote in this year’s midterms than ever." For issues that we care about, we HAVE to keep talking about them!
Having leaders who are representative of the population they serve is very important. By 2045, the U.S. population will be more diverse than ever...with White Americans totaling less than 50% of the U.S. population (Brookings). Today, in 2022, the make up of the Executive branch is still not reflective of the population. We still have a long way to go, and as I share with my clients....it truly is "a marathon...not a sprint!"
It's my honor to announce that I will be a speaker at South by Southwest in March 2023 in Austin, TX. My topic will be 'Driving Diversity Forward with Data'. Hope to see you there!
This month is filled with diverse observances, so do your research and be intentional about how you communicate this to your employees before creating any social media posts or external messaging.
National Native American Heritage Month: During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples' past and present, and rededicate ourselves to honoring Tribal sovereignty, promoting Tribal self-determination, and upholding the United States’ solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations.
November 11: Veterans Day
November 13–19: Transgender Awareness Week
November 19: International Men’s Day
November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 24: Thanksgiving Day in the US
November 25: Native American Heritage Day
November 30: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
Until next month... Be well and stay safe & healthy!