- On January 13, 2021
- #culturaldiversity, #culturalfluency, #DEI, #diversity, #equity, #inclusion, #sheroes
USA Today’s Women of the Century project launched in late summer, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women in the U.S. the right to vote. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to to sit on a very diverse, multicultural nominating panel of women (and one man). Throughout the deliberations, there were at least a dozen instances when we didn’t agree on a candidate, and many times when we each had to advocate hard to keep our nominee on the list. This advocacy was a very necessary and important part of the vetting process. Reflecting on the experience, it was an honor simply to be included and part of the dialogue “in the room” where it happened. I can point to many experiences when we, as women, are not asked for our opinions, when decisions are made without our involvement. In this setting, it was the opposite. A broad spectrum of women from arts, literature, science/engineering, media, entertainment, medicine, sports, politics, civil rights, academics, business, non-profits, and philanthropy made the final, national list of 100 Women of the Century. The project is ongoing and was created “to inspire the next generation of women, girls and their allies to build a better America for the next century.” You can listen to a Storyteller’s event, including Helen Zia, online here.
The Hard Work of Inclusion and Leadership Development
Just recently, a potential client asked us: “Can you give me something that can be done in one easy to use session?” But this work is not easy, and it takes commitment, reflection, and practice. While I understand the need to provide awareness to get the work started, it does no good if you stop there and do not provide any ongoing development.
With all that’s going on in the world, there has been a dramatic uptick in the need for effective application of diversity & inclusion and we have been fielding inquiries from around the world about cultural fluency, diversity & inclusion, providing culturally competent healthcare, and teaching leaders the skill of flexing in corporations, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Some organizations seem to understand that building skills requires a long term commitment, but we need to continually remind people of WHY we do this work of culture change, and building competence. It simply cannot be implemented in one sitting.