As I watch the snow fly, and it’s freezing outside, I feel like a little injection of hope is in order.
So, in this blog post I’m sharing a few things I’ve come across in the last little while that I believe are good examples of some of the great choices and actions we can make to further our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
I recently did a presentation in London about Unconscious Bias and a proud mother came up to me afterwards to tell me about her daughter who is a writer and who is purposeful about including diversity in her books. Her name is Sam Maggs and you can find her books on her website (and on Amazon).
Books that help us ‘see more’
The book I currently have by Sam is Wonder Women – 25 innovators, inventors and trailblazers who changed history.
Today I decided to read about Miriam Benjamin. Don’t know who she is or why she’s a Wonder Woman? Neither did I. Get the book and find out!
Sam Maggs’ style is so refreshing because it so honestly calls out and comments on the racism (and other forms of oppression) of the time. My 6-year-old will love it too, I’m sure. Sam’s most recent book is called Girl Squads: 20 female friendships that changed history. I’m looking forward to reading that one too! Given the plethora of male-centred and white-centred books out there, especially in STEM, it’s amazing to have books like this (for ourselves and our girls to aspire to, and our boys to learn about).
Sam’s work is a great example of just expanding what you’re up to already, and making sure you include different perspectives and people we don’t often hear or hear about. Because when we don’t hear about them often, it’s easy to believe they don’t exist. Which is simply not true…as you will see in these books.
D&I and …bras?!
Yes. A bra company. It’s called Third Love.
But if you go on their website you’ll see models of different backgrounds and sizes (I’d love to see more even more diversity, but it’s a good start).
Plus, Third Love gives back. And they are strategic about it.
Their choices? The Unmentionables and Support the Girls. Those choices positively impact the lives and health of some of the most marginalized – displaced persons and homeless women and girls. That means when you buy something from them for yourself, you can also feel good about the ripple effect.
Telling it like it is…
Then, Porter Braswell has written a book. Let Them See You. It’s for People of Colour in the workplace. A guide. A way forward. My copy arrives on Wednesday but what I like about what the Table of Contents promises is that it acknowledges the unique challenges People of Colour face in today’s workplace, and there is also a section on remaining your authentic self. I have recently been thinking a lot about that. As I’m busy preparing workplaces for more diversity through inclusion, it’s also critical that those people arriving to work there can be themselves. Not a version of themselves that will get them through the day. Otherwise, what’s the point? Plus it’s refreshing to finally see people talking and writing about the fact that we have real differences in experiences, depending on who we are. Solutions have to take that into consideration. That’s what equity is all about.
D&I is about how, not just what…
A typical push-back about D&I that I often hear is “we don’t have time for another initiative” or “everyone is so busy already, I can’t ask them to do something else”.
Diversity and Inclusion is not an initiative or something else to add to the work. It’s a way of being with each other, a way of seeing more, and a way that acknowledges what we each bring to a situation. And letting that inform how we work together.
What are you up to, that you could add a D&I lens to?
What magic could happen if you did?