The Black Lives Matter movement was one of the hottest topics of 2020. The conversations that ensued highlighted a far reaching issue in the workplace as well — namely, the lack of inclusion and diversity. Statistically, People of Color are often disregarded at work and vastly underrepresented in senior positions.
In this podcast episode from Ted Talks Daily, Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer discusses her concern about how companies often try to approach and rectify the inequality. Instead of trying to build relationships and cultivate conversations between people of diverse backgrounds (leading to an authentically diverse company), there is a focus on numbers and “meeting metrics”. What this can lead to is a good and equal looking ratio of POC in a company, while these employees are still subject to unfair treatment, exclusion and even abuse. This is hardly an image of a progressive, diverse company.
In this conversation, Rosalind Brewer invites leaders to rethink their approaches to diversity and inclusion. She also discusses, as COO of Starbucks, how her company encourages conversations among employees (whom they call partners) through various projects, team times and workshops aimed to create truly inclusive workplaces – ones where the voices of partners from all backgrounds are heard equally. These materials have also been made available to communities and other companies with the aim of bringing “real, grassroots change to boardrooms and communities alike”.
Much like is the heart of QVI, this podcast highlights the importance of communication across divides. Both as members of a community, as well as in a leadership role with employees entrusted into our care, this episode makes us ask ourselves: how exactly are we working towards better and safer work spaces? What are we doing to ensure fair and equal opportunities for people from all backgrounds?
Update: Since this Ted Talk, Rosalind Brewer has been named the incoming CEO of Walgreens. Read her latest interview in Business Insider about Anti-Racism in the corporate world.
Listen to full podcast Here:
Title: How to Foster True Diversity and Inclusion at Work (and in Your Community)
Author: Rosalind G. Brewer on the TED Talks Daily Podcast
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