“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The need for increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is more prevalent than ever. The understanding that something needs to change is apparent, but what those changes mean and how to implement them is less clear. At Nova, we believe that DEI is a journey through an ever changing landscape. The structure and needs ebb and flow as a reflection of our current social climate. DEI isn’t a box that an organization can simply mark as complete, It’s an ongoing process. It’s the collective efforts of each individual within the organization that creates true change in the work culture and organization.
So how do we make these shifts towards a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace? It is rooted in self-work, and our own introspection.
Recognizing Our Social Identities
When we begin to acknowledge and unpack our various social identities, we are more likely to start seeing ourselves alongside others as part of a bigger equation. It’s an opportunity to honor our differences as well as align on shared values and goals. This builds compassion across lines of differences, and is one of the many reasons we at Nova feel that starting with social identity work is so important.
We don’t need to personally live another’s experience to be able to understand that their journey may differ from our own. The factors and variables that create our own unique social identities also shape our life perspectives. Building compassion is our path to intentionally seeking diversity and creating an inclusive environment. An inclusive workplace doesn’t just feel better to be a part of; it positions an organization to develop more creative solutions, adapt faster and more efficiently when needed, and to continue to thrive in ever changing climates. Cultivating and modeling compassion in the workplace is beneficial on personal, team, and organizational levels.
Each Individual Effort Counts
Each person’s efforts contribute to the workplace’s progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion. It takes an understanding of our role in DEI; our social identities, understanding of other’s experiences and identities, as well as how we show up in these spaces. An organization will never obtain a stamp that declares it “DEI approved” that somehow aligns everyone’s views and removes biases. This is why we say DEI is a journey. It takes work; for the individual to open their minds and hearts to other paths, and for the organization to establish a shared mission and values for the group to align with.