Inclusion Resources – February 2021

We are continuing our series, highlighting information and useful articles on the subjects of Inclusion and Diversity.

We hope the following articles help in continuing conversations. More importantly, we hope these articles continue the learning process and drive much-needed action and meaningful progress when building workplace inclusion.

LGBT+ History Month: Six LGBT+ sportspeople you should know more about, by Miriam Walker-Khan for BBC Sport: “To mark the start of LGBT+ History Month, BBC Sport looks at the lives of six LGBT+ sportspeople who made history in their respective sports, but whose stories may not be as widely known.” (Content warning: references to suicide, drug use and other issues such as sexual misconduct.)

Black History Month: why is it celebrated in February in the US, but in October in the UK?, by Hilary Mitchell for Pink News: “It goes without saying that the US Black History Month inspired the UK version, however there are different roots underpinning Black History Month in Britain, which is down to the fundamental differences between the two countries. In short, America’s Black history is not the UK’s Black history, and Black UK citizens have different histories and lived experiences, for example, the unique experiences of Britain’s extensive African-Caribbean population.”

The urgent need for inclusivity is reshaping 3 major workplace trends, by Lata N. Reddy for Quartz: “There’s no doubt that the racial inequities and social injustices laid bare in America in 2020 have brought forth a new level of attention from corporations and a desire to be a part of the conversation (and solution) in order to drive significant and systemic change. The question going into 2021 is whether the increased efforts by companies to embrace equity and inclusion were simply performative, or whether they will be supported by corporate leadership and backed by the resources and resolve required to drive meaningful change.”

Breaking Down Workplace Barriers For Those With Invisible Disabilities, by Linda Fisk for Forbes: “Keep in mind that if a person has a disability, it doesn’t mean that person is disabled. Many are active in their work, families, sports or hobbies. However, others might struggle to get through the day or might require assistance specifically in the workplace. Everyone with a disability is unique, with varying challenges and needs, as well as abilities, qualities and characteristics. But a lack of sensitivity to someone’s disability, especially an invisible disability, can create misunderstandings, resentment and frustration, worsening the situation. Co-workers could consider someone with an invisible disability to be lazy, weak, antisocial, incompetent, aloof or distant.”

Performative Allyship Is In Your Workplace. Here’s What To Do About It, by Sheree Atcheson for Forbes: “When you hear the word “performative” what do you think of? What other words come to your mind? For me, when I think of “performative”, I also think of “facetious”, “self-serving” and “disingenuous”. These words can directly be used to describe performative allyship. It isn’t about actually helping underrepresented communities. The focus is actually on the ally being rewarded and getting benefits from being “one of the good ones”, whilst doing the bare minimum. More often that not, when challenged, defensiveness from this “ally” will kick in, as their core belief is that people should be “grateful” for their efforts, even if intention and impact did not align.”

Start with inclusion, and diversity will follow, by Sandy Cross for HR Dive: “When senior leadership makes inclusion a priority in their words — and more importantly, in their actions — a culture of expansion, creativity and fortitude can take root. By not doing so, leaders limit their organization’s growth by essentially rubber-stamping the status quo…which, when left unattended, is often a culture of fitting in, fear, and suppressing the very attributes that are the “miracle grow” to your company’s success.”