In 2017, we launched diversity and inclusion training in order to provide companies with the knowledge and tools to create a more inclusive work environment. Our goal was (and still is) to help support companies in their own diversity and inclusion efforts and help them move the needle in meaningful and actionable ways.
We started off with a series of workshops around diversity, inclusion, and bias in the workplace. What we’ve found after a year of this work is that talking about diversity and inclusion is a start, but it’s not the complete picture– equity is also a crucial piece of the puzzle. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are differences between them and it’s worth noting what those are.
Diversity refers to the presence of difference, being composed of differing elements or qualities. In the workplace, diversity refers to all the unique differences and perspectives we bring to work from our backgrounds and experiences. Inclusion refers more to the environment, and is the state of being included, heard, and valued. Equity is important to consider because as we as a society grapple with a growing awareness of our own privilege and place in an increasingly diverse world, it follows that we need to assess and understand how our advantages may impact others. In the workplace, if we agree that diversity is about including all the voices, then inclusion is about ensuring that those voices feel welcomed and valued, and equity is about ensuring that all those voices are treated fairly.
We believe that having brave conversations around power, privilege, systemic racism and sexism will deepen our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, while creating a more powerful connection to ourselves and others. We know that having these conversations isn’t easy or comfortable. However, we would argue that creating the space and opportunity to have these deeper conversations is a vital part of the process towards creating a more equitable workplace and world.
The Vault, our newest program, is intentionally designed to create a space to have these conversations and introduces equity into our lexicon. We’re calling this program The Vault because we want to make it very clear that the conversations we will have in this program are completely confidential, allowing people to make ‘mistakes’ without fear of being shamed, judged or accused. The group size is intentionally small so that all voices can be heard. Over the course of six sessions, we’ll discuss power, privilege, and how we and our organizations can address challenging issues around race, gender, age, ability, and more. We’ll cover real world workplace scenarios with our peers, guided by expert facilitators. We’re excited to have this conversation around equity and inclusion at work. Will you join us?