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Four Steps to Cultivating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

If we want to see real, sustainable change, we all must continue to acknowledge and celebrate diversity in the workplace.

As Diversity Month concludes, we all must strive to continue to advocate for the change necessary in acknowledging and celebrating diversity in the workplace. Enspira strives to help cultivate lasting change by educating ourselves and others--and most importantly, taking action wherever and whenever we can. As these can be difficult, complicated conversations, we've established best practices and resources to help you and your organization along the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) journey.

Step 1: Acknowledge that privilege is real

The first step is to recognize the privileges we may have that others do not. Privilege is not the presence of perks and benefits, but rather the absence of obstacles and barriers. Ask yourself: what harmful biases am I not aware of because I don’t have to confront them due to my race, gender, etc.? At work, are there spaces or resources I might have access to due to those privileges?

If these obstacles and barriers don't impact your day-to-day life, it can be difficult to acknowledge their existence and potential ripple effect. Identifying your privilege is a key first step.

Step 2: Become curious about difference

As individuals, we need to educate ourselves on DEIB and not rely on our peers from underrepresented communities to explain it to us. There are currently myriad tools at our fingertips to learn and understand what it means to have (or to lack) privilege. Seize the opportunity--read books and articles, listen to podcasts, attend webinars, etc.--that offer different perspectives and viewpoints, so you can come to the table with an informed view.

By understanding your own privilege, you strengthen your ability to empathize with people from other walks of life, and better set the stage for the discussions that drive progress towards impactful change.

Step 3: Find ways to infuse awareness into your organization

While it’s on us as individuals to educate ourselves, that's not to say your organization can’t augment and assist with the education process. By providing resources and raising awareness, workplaces can send a powerful message to employees that it cares about these issues, thus laying a foundation and setting the tone for action. There’s also an opportunity to begin framing the conversation and instill a common vernacular, so there’s a common thread that runs throughout conversations about diversity.

An organization may demonstrate its allyship by making a statement, but without a concrete plan of action, that can feel performative. Employees need to feel it. Organizations can show up as allies by providing spaces to learn about differences, celebrating and highlighting diverse perspectives, and reviewing policies, programs, and practices with a lens toward equity.

Step 4: Become an inclusion accomplice

Nothing changes without action. Beyond allyship, action means being an accomplice. In doing so, you and/or your organization accept the potential consequences of using your privilege to step up and support underrepresented communities through meaningful action. Speaking out publicly as an organization against injustice, mentoring and championing underrepresented individuals within your workplace, and supporting underrepresented businesses and communities—with financial or time investments—are great starting points.

To help guide individuals and organizations through the ever-evolving DEIB journey, we’ve compiled the following list of important DEIB resources that help raise awareness, educate, and ultimately, take action. We hope that you find these helpful, and ask everyone--including ourselves--to continue putting in the work that will make the world more equitable and inclusive for all.

Enspira DI&B Resources

Anti-Racism AAPI  resources
Anti-Racism BIPOC  resources

DEI&B: A Glossary of  Terms

Disability in the  Workplace

Fostering Inclusion  in the Workplace

Mental Health and  Wellness

Leesa (she/her) has 25 years of experience in the Human Resources industry with deep expertise in the areas of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), and Learning and Development. Prior to Enspira, she worked in human resource roles at Biogen, Pfizer and Kforce Inc. She has a proven track record of creating and implementing successful DEIB strategies in a variety of organizational settings which includes a pace setting women on boards program, fit-for-purpose strategic roadmaps, launching and leveraging Employee Resource Groups/Networks and Diversity Councils, creating and leading a years long DEIB-focused community of practice and being an active member of the HR D+I Council. Leesa has a Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion for HR from Cornell’s ILR School, is certified in the ED&I 360 & Inclusive Behavior Inventory Assessment and earned her BFA in Dance from Shenandoah Conservatory. Leesa actively mentors women from underrepresented groups who are passionate in the space of DEIB.

Rebecca has over 10 years of experience in HR, with a focus in Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging and Talent Acquisition. Prior to Enspira, she worked for Viasat, Inc. leading the Diversity & Inclusion global workforce strategy. She is also certified in conducting Aperian Global’s GlobeSmart® Inclusive Behaviors Inventory & 360 assessments. Previously, she worked at Biogen in Diversity & Inclusion and University Relations roles. Before Biogen, she worked in operations roles in nonprofit community development and in recruiting. She has a Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion Management from Cornell’s ILR School, a Certificate in HR Management & Analytics from Wharton, a Master's degree in International Relations from King's College, London, and a Bachelor's degree in History from UC Santa Barbara. Rebecca is passionate about building inclusive spaces – where everyone feels that the differences they bring are valued, and that they belong.

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