Expectations around inclusion are increasing. The connected nature of our world, combined with our thirst for increasing transparency, means that no matter your job, your level or your organization, individuals are expected to be well-versed in diversity and good at inclusion.
Unfortunately, those increasing expectations are not matched with increased skills – which means that most of us are making it up as we go along. When we don’t know how to act or what to do, we double down on being a nice person and hope it will be enough. But these very honourable traits may harm as much as they help.
Being nice is not the same thing as being inclusive.
It takes more.
Exploring diversity is messy. It’s messy because the answers we find in this space can be threatening. In order to create a more inclusive world for others, do we have to give up power, advantage and opportunity? In embracing inclusion, do we put ourselves at a disadvantage? If we are in one of the groups who have been advantaged up to this point, is it our turn to sit in the inequality chair?
To find a way forward and unpick this diversity mess that we find ourselves in we need to engage in conversations which may move us from the comfortable place being nice affords us and thrust us into the uncomfortable. This book is for anyone who wants to dive into the complex task of supporting diversity. It’s filled with dozens of stories from people who are the ‘other’, along with practical know-how and thoughtful ideas on how we can navigate the polarised and divisive issues we face in the workplace and in the world. It offers a path for anyone wanting to increase their understanding of diversity and to take a more active role in shaping an inclusive future.