How to implement successful diversity and inclusion strategies

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YW Boston has been working to advance racial and gender equity and build more inclusive environments for over 150 years. Today our InclusionBoston program, formerly known as Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity, has partnered with over 100 organizations to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and create lasting cultural change. Recently, our Interim Manager of InclusionBoston, Fatima Dainkeh, sat down with Executive Director of The Urban Labs, Malia Lazu, to share insights on how organizations can prepare for and implement successful diversity and inclusion strategies. 

Click the video below to watch the full conversation.

Here are three takeaways from this conversation on how to implement successful diversity and inclusion strategies:

Don’t rush into action

Organizations are looking for lasting change, so they are eager to see results. YW Boston’s InclusionBoston program helps organizations implement and measure change through specialized assessments and action plans. Yet it’s important to remember that inclusive spaces are not built overnight. “First you have to focus on building the relationships you need to get where you want to go. We need to build different kinds of relationships and that takes time.”

Hiring diverse candidates should not be the first step

First, focus on figuring out why you have not been able to attract and retain a diverse team. Malia highlights the importance of this prep work, “You want to do that internally. You don’t want to have folks telling you on Twitter or Glassdoor.”

Work towards being a better ally privately

As Fatima states, when talking about systemic change we often forget that people make up systems. We are the product of systems and we all have work to do when it comes to deconstructing bias and presumptions. Allyship is critical to the success of diversity and inclusion efforts. “A good ally should read and educate themselves on as many diverse experiences as possible. Allow vulnerability and be open to it.” We don’t know what we don’t know and should not expect others to do the work for us.

We want to thank Malia Lazu for sharing her insights with us and the YW Boston community. You can find Malia on social media @theurbanlabz and @malialazu. Don’t miss Malia’s collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts this Wednesday, June 19 from 5:00 to 10:00 PM.

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About InclusionBoston

InclusionBoston advances diversity, equity, and inclusion by partnering with organizations looking for improved business results. Using our advanced assessment tool and the latest research on behavioral and organizational change, we partner with organizations to create an action plan and provide them with the resources needed to drive lasting change. Our customized, evidence-based approach builds internal capacity and a plan for cultural change while supporting organizations throughout their journey.

Ready to unlock the power of diversity in your workplace? Contact Sheera Bornstein at sbornstein@ywboston.org for a free consultation.  

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