Beyond the Diversity Month: Now What?

bird s eye view of trees during daytime


Did you know that September is Suicide Prevention month? Hispanic Heritage month started September 15? February is Black History month? October is National Disability Employment Awareness month?

Chances are you do know about the focus of various months throughout the year. The human resources department or diversity committee within your organization may write an article, host a panel, or offer a brown bag luncheon to raise awareness. Many thought leaders on social media will speak and write about the focus of the month and raise awareness.

As an inclusive leader, you may participate in these things to broaden your cultural intelligence and model the behavior of inclusivity to your team. You may share the information with your team and invite them to attend a webinar together.

My question is, now what? What happens when the focus months end? Do you go back to business as usual? Do you move on to the next focus?

First, I applaud all the inclusive leaders who broaden their understanding of people by reading the articles, attending the brown bag lunches, and listening to the panel discussions. These are the first steps to make toward understanding people who are different from you.

One of the keys to being an inclusive leader is making a commitment to being an inclusive leader. The commitment is first to yourself. You may even choose development of inclusivity in your leadership style as a personal goal.

The second commitment to make is to others: to individuals who are different from you and to your team. You have started by seeking to understand the members of your team. As you move forward with creating a diverse and inclusive team, the next step is to think about belonging. Do the diverse members of your team feel as if they belong?

I often hear from my clients, “People of color, and LGBTQ people and women, continue to leave our organization. We make strides with our diversity numbers, so I know we are doing a good job with recruiting. What else can we do?”

This week, rather than giving you a list of action steps, I am giving you a list of action questions.

Actively think about the following. That means schedule some time to think about the following. When you finish, spend some time asking your team members for their thoughts.

  1. What opportunities do you offer diverse individuals on your team?
  2. Who is assigned to projects that create the highest visibility in your organization?
  3. Who is missing from your team?
  4. When you are in a meeting, is there a diversity of people and ideas in attendance?
  5. When meeting with your team, does each person contribute?
  6. Is there equity in pay among team members?

If you are interested in learning more about making a commitment to being a diverse leader, attend the October 8 session of “The 6 Cs of Inclusive Leadership”. You can register here.


Published by Mary Balistreri

Mary Balistreri offers a variety of coaching and professional development services to individuals and organizations focused on harnessing strengths to develop more business. Mary’s approach is goal driven, focusing on measurable results and developing actionable plans to move past obstacles that hold individuals, teams, and organizations back from executing on the plan. Mary offers expertise in business development, team building, and leadership development coupled with strategies to improve conversational and emotional intelligence to support clients moving toward their goals and aspirations.

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