“Radical Inclusion” means including – or at least listening and being civil to — those who disagree with us. That’s my next frontier.
Happy holidays from DifferenceWORKS! In the news today is so much about division, hatred and violence – between whites and blacks, have’s and have-not’s, Republicans and Democrats, and people of different faiths or religious beliefs. Difference does work. Diversity and inclusion drive better decisions and better bottom lines. We need our differences. Wouldn’t it be nice to love them?
She is “helpful” but “too assertive.” He “shows initiative” and “solves problems.” Research shows that the language used in performance reviews for men and women is very different. The language clearly reflects underlying gender bias. Can making managers more aware of their language actually uproot and change gender biases?
The young lawyer worked long hours, did great work, served on firm committees and got along with clients and colleagues. At her performance review, the senior partner noted all of these strengths. But he identified one “area of improvement”: “You are lacking in humility,” he said. I suspect the “double bind” is at play. The double bind is the tightrope women must walk. If they work and behave in more feminine ways, they are not seen as leaders. If they act in masculine ways (or too masculine or too often), they are disliked.
In celebrating the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, I reflect on the dream of having people judged on their contributions, not on how they look. My dream is a world where leadership and success are based on talent and contribution, not on how we look or on gendered definitions of leadership. We have come a long way but have far to go.
My son gave me a testimonial about how applying the principles of DifferenceWORKS may have saved a business. We often present those principles – appreciating rather than judging differences – to a situation involving one person who operates in a masculine way and another who demonstrates more feminine tendencies. His story involved two masculine men. Rather than strangle his business partner, my son recognized that his colleague was not wrong or defective, just different – and had strengths that were different but important.