The participants in today’s program on Maximizing the Performance of Diverse Teams (sponsored by the MD Chamber of Commerce and co-facilitated with Sheela Murthy) wanted ideas about how to impact their leaders about diversity and inclusion. Many wonder if it truly valued. They don’t see observable behaviors at the top that convince them that this is a genuine organizational goal or value.
I wonder how executive leadership would have reacted, had they been a fly on the wall. Just saying that diversity and inclusion are important ring hollow when no one sees diversity at the top, on the teams, or in the halls. Having people who are different than the homogeneous norm is good for the EEO report, but if people don’t feel welcome, respected and needed, then it’s all for show. Word gets out (because people like to talk), and soon everyone knows that the Leaders don’t mean what they say. If you can’t trust your leadership, it makes it hard to be a committed to the organization’s goals. Leadership should be more aware that people watch them very carefully.