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The State of DEI: Six Questions Every Leadership Team Needs to Answer

By DE&I, Diversity, Emotional Wellness, Leadership, Workplace Culture

 

Recently, a Workday study on the state of DEI came out. In this study, they surveyed over 3000 HR and business leaders from 23 countries. Here were a few of the top line bullets the survey data revealed:

The top four key reasons that make up the business case for DE&I are:

  • Improve staff wellbeing – 41%
  • Attract and develop talent – 40%
  • Attract and recruit a diverse workforce – 38%
  • Improve employee engagement – 38%

The DEI initiatives most commonly undertaken are:

  • Positive action: to encourage diverse applicants – 36%
  • DEI training – 36%
  • Positive action: to support development and promotion – 36%

I hope that somewhere in this data one of the areas of focus is not only retaining and attracting talent in a diverse workforce, but also creating a culture of belonging and inclusion where people are treated equitably.

I hear the word “culture” referred to less today than in the past, but it’s the engine that helps to sustain positive resultseven when it comes to DEI&B. And therein lies the opportunity and the challenge. Culture sustains DEI&B and DEI&B is one of the elements that spark the development of a healthy culture. If you’re not sure what to talk about in your next leadership team meeting, try out these six questions:

  • How would you define the culture in your organization?  
  • Is it conducive to creating a sense of belonging and the kind of attentiveness that lets everyone feel seen and heard? 
  • Who’s out and who’s in, and how does that dynamic impact results?
  • What is the organization doing to have the outsiders feel valued and appreciated because they are outsiders?
  • Do the outsiders stay or leave?
  • If they stay, are they able to be themselves or did they have to shape-shift to fit in?

How are you doing in terms of creating a culture of belonging and inclusion in your workplace? Please reach out to me—I would love to hear about your challenges and successes!

DEI and the 4 Questions Skeptics Ask

By Affirmative Action, DE&I, Diversity, Education, Racism
Students in the Affirmative Action Coalition march from Harvard through Cambridge, chant in support of diversity and affirmative action on college campuses. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Students in the Affirmative Action Coalition march from Harvard through Cambridge, chant in support of diversity and affirmative action on college campuses. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

 

Did you know that 25 years ago, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor predicted that the issue of racial discrimination would be something our society would not have to confront today? 

 

In 2003, Justice O’Connor summarized her opinions in a Court case on affirmative action at the time: “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest [of increasing diversity in colleges and universities] approved today.” Can we agree that optimistic prediction has not come true? From attempts to intimidate and threaten Black and Brown voters in the recent U.S. election to confronting anti- Semitic sentiments and hate speech from public figures, we are still dealing with racism daily in U.S. society. 

The cases before the Court now were brought by the organization, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), who are seeking the elimination of all “race-conscious” admissions practices in universities and colleges. The Supreme Court has rejected the organization’s arguments twice already, and ruled that universities can consider race in admissions to promote diversity on campus and enrich students’ learning experience.

What’s going on? Why can’t we do as Justice O’Connor predicted and overcome and evolve past the stain of racism, racial bias, and discrimination?   

I don’t have an answer to that question, but here is an observation about the patterns of misunderstanding that seem stall true progress. 

In our work with clients around the world, some of my colleagues and I have noticed there are four questions that are repeatedly asked in arguments like this that take us down the problem- solving rabbit hole. 

It seems to me that these questions are motivated by a desire to intentionally stall progress. In other instances, the questions stem from a constructive intention, but the people asking these questions lack the ability to actually hear the words or see the lived experience of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors who have to deal with racial discrimination on a daily basis. 

The four questions are:

  1. The “What about…?” equivocation question: People ask this question based on the assumption that all forms of discrimination are solved with the same solution. Ask anyone who deals with the intersectional issues of, say, accessibility along with racism, and they’ll tell you the remedy for one is very different than the remedy for the other. The issue before the Supreme Court has to do with banning preference based on race. Though the cases being argued today are about diversity and recruitment/acceptance policies in universities, the point being argued has its origins in the 14th Amendment.  The language of the amendment was intended to address the racial backlash in the South following the end of the Civil War to provide formerly enslaved citizens with the same protections as all U.S. citizens, making their lynching, murder and assault unlawful (ACLU).
  2. The “Where’s the data” question: My colleagues who are men and women of color say this is the most frustrating question of all. For them, the “data” happens every day in the regular course of living their lives. It includes the ways they are looked at or treated in public spaces or asked to speak for their whole group, as in, “You’re Black; what do your people think about this?” They live and have to confront the data in ways that people like me have never experienced. Justice Sotomayor courageously offered up her own educational experience as data that affirmative action worked. Her grades, she said, would not have normally allowed her to get into Yale Law School, even though she excelled as a student once she was admitted. Her life story – like millions of other U.S. citizens – is the data.
  3. The definition question: It’s hard for me to believe that this question, when asked,  is genuine. It sounds like a passive-aggressive way to stall looking at root causes or finding solutions. For example, Justice Thomas, in the oral arguments, asked, “What is the definition of diversity?” and then answered his own question by saying it seems to mean “giving everything to everyone.” It would have been more direct to say, “I don’t subscribe to diversity as a valid concept for the Court to consider.”  Taking the bait and providing definitions of terms like “diversity” or “equity” or” inclusion” divert the conversation from actual problem-solving to an exercise in semantics. 
  4. The “When will we be done?” question: “When will we know anti-discrimination practices have gone far enough?” Does it strike you as odd that we are asking when we will be done working on eliminating discrimination when we have yet to be successful holding people accountable for doing it? It’s like saying “When are we going to stop funding cancer research?” knowing that there are still so many incurable or hard-to-treat forms of cancer. How about we solve more of the problem and THEN talk about when enough is enough?

A mentor once told me that, “Affirmative action is a clunky, inelegant, but necessary engineered solution to a human dynamic, and a problem that defies simple solutions. You can’t engineer mindsets.” They warned me, and that’s what was most disturbing when I listened to the Court proceedings. Some justices just sound like their minds are made up, and they are unable or unwilling to look past the literal interpretation of the 14th Amendment to consider the context of our society, then and now. 

It is astonishing to hear some of the justices ask the same basic questions our clients who have never had the opportunity to delve deeply into diversity and inclusion ask. The difference is that the Justices are supposed to be among the most learned and informed among us. It was heartbreaking to listen to some of the Justices go down the rabbit hole of these four questions. Is that they don’t understand the real issue or do they not believe it’s really worth considering? 

Ways to Deal with the Four Questions:

Do your best not to take the bait. No answer you can provide and no dialogue about them will actually move the needle toward a more equitable society. Instead, start with listening to their story—all of it. 

Say something like, “What really bothers you about working towards a society with no racial discrimination? Or “What are you afraid of if the Court upholds affirmative action—as imperfect as it is—to help rebalance the scales of justice?” Asking a question like this creates connection with the person asking the question, rather than taking a stance of debate. It also gets more to the heart of the issue, which is their resistance – not the legitimacy of DE&I work or, in this case, affirmative action.

A decision to completely overturn the Grutter v. Bollinger case, which was basically a blueprint for race-conscious college admissions, could have devastating outcomes when it comes to college admissions. According to a brief filed by Harvard, more than 40 percent of universities in the U.S. consider race during the admissions process. Let’s hope the Supreme Court will not vote to end the use of racial classifications in college admissions. 

Whatever the outcome, we can assume the next few years are going to be trying when it comes to the Court and their current stance on Affirmative Action.  Here’s to working together to protect it.

Disagree with Someone at Work? Try Having a “Gap Conversation”.

By Communication, CRT, Diversity, Leadership, Workplace Culture

“Gap Conversation” (noun) Definition: A high stakes conversation where you and someone with whom you have and want to maintain a positive relationship discuss what has previously been considered an undiscussable topic (the Gap). Gap Conversations are inherently risky, but they often deepen connections and relationships when they go well.

 

Let’s say you’re having a conversation with someone you have a good work relationship with. Before you know it, the conversation has taken a turn into a subject that you suspect you and the other person disagree about, ideologically. Maybe it’s about the importance of unions, maybe it’s a disagreement about the need to have workers return to the office, or maybe it’s about the importance of DE&I.  

You have a choice: change the subject quickly or enter into a Gap Conversation, hoping that your suspected disagreement becomes an opportunity to deepen and strengthen the relationship through mutual understanding. 70% of the time, research shows we avoid the conversation, and there is good evidence that the more we avoid, the more likely we are to accidentally create a toxic work culture. 

If you are saying to yourself, “Forget it, Gap Conversations don’t work, and they are not worth the risk. Those people have their minds made up. There is no point in even trying…” 

 

I invite you to consider whose mind is made up: yours or theirs? 

 

I’ve been practicing having Gap Conversations a lot these days, and I would say my success rate is just over 50%. Given how difficult it is currently to “close the gap” with people who feel differently, I think it’s worth the effort.

Here is what I am practicing and how it’s going:  

Suspend the desire to be right

I am learning to suspend my desire to be right, especially when I feel I have a more accurate grasp of the facts and data. I get really irritated when someone cites something that they heard on a tabloid news network or read on social media, as if the data is real when it isn’t. These sorts of conversations are not about facts or data, at least not at first. In my case, I think my desire to be right is tied to some old “not good enough” wounds from being a kid with an undiagnosed learning disability in elementary school. When my “I am right” switch is on, I muck things up pretty badly, so I’m working on noticing my level of activation and not allowing it to drive what I do or say.

Restrain and redirect my moral outrage

I recently talked about moral outrage in another blog I just wrote. It is the strong emotion that we feel when we experience or see an injustice, which we then convert into a moral judgment in a nano-second. When we feel it, it’s tempting to resort to shaming or attacking the wrong-doer as if we’ve caught them in the act. For example, I remember how it felt when I first watched the infamous video of a white woman who, in 2020, falsely called 911 on a Black man who had confronted her for unleashing her dog in a leash-required part of Central Park. I’m pretty sure I posted something about it that expressed my moral outrage at the transgressorthe white woman. I wasn’t alone, and the video of the event went viral in ways that were life-changing for her. There is no doubt that her actions were dangerous and egregious and speak to the very worst in us, but when I look back on that moment, I wish I could have found something constructive to say, or to have said nothing at all. I allowed my moral outrage to mindlessly take charge as I piled on with millions of others.  

Start with listening to their story, all of it

I try to really focus on listening in every Gap Conversation. Under the surface, everyone has a unique story, and if we look at the pushback and backlash that DEI is getting right now, a LOT of it is coming from disenfranchised white people who feel that the hardships they overcame are not being considered. I’m not listening so I can agree or disagree with them. I am listening to understand and be empathetic to what created the feelings the other person is dealing with.  

Remember (and prioritize) what matters

It helps me to stay centered on my ultimate priorities, which in most cases is to be in a positive relationship with people, even if we disagree. I don’t have to sacrifice my values to get along with someone, but remembering that relationships are as important as sharing “my truth” helps me be more empathetic and accessible to others. I try to start Gap Conversations by laying out the context as we start: “My relationship with you is importantcan we talk honestly about (this topic) even if we disagree?”

Slow d o w n

My sense of urgency and drive can be helpful traits, but my bias for efficiency and speed can also be a real liability, particularly when it comes to listening and understanding the perspectives of others. I’d say I need to work on empathy, but for me, I need to work on the step before empathy which is to slow down enough to really get where people are at and understand what they’re feeling. I’m finding that I have some real stuck patterns around my urgency and turning everything into something that has to be attended to NOW. I’ve even engaged a coach to help me work on this, and I can see and feel the difference with people when they know I am present for them.

Share my own vulnerability

This is where I talk about what’s true for me, including disclosing my fears, anxieties, and concerns I have about whatever we are discussing. When I’m able to be vulnerable and to talk about my own storyeven when the story describes my own made-up interpretation of an eventthe very act of my owning my misinterpretation becomes a statement of my desire to have trust.

Redefine what “success” means

Having let go of the need to be right, we can also let go of any attachment to needing to reach an agreement. Gap Conversations are successful when each person has a better view into the way the other person views the world, and why. Even best friends may have to agree to disagree about some things. Pinpointing the specific issue can be liberating; it allows us to maintain a collegial relationship in spite of our disagreement. 

Having an effective Gap Conversation doesn’t mean that one or both parties need to agree that both sides are equally valid. They may not be. The facts underlying the ideological divide in our society on topics like who won the last presidential election, or the nature and history of racism, don’t equally support both perspectives. But just because the facts are on our side doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t listen to the perspectives of others. Beneath the data lies the real fear or mindset that can only be resolved through empathy and communication.

Business is such an important driver of commerce AND culture in our society. Even when we are at work and the issues are messy, let’s ask ourselves, “How can I engage in more Gap Conversations instead of pretending that they’ll go away on their own?”

They won’t.

For more on closing the Gap, consider picking up Jim’s book on Amazon, “Gaslights and Dog Whistles – Standing Up For Facts Over Fiction in a Fearful and Divided World

Leading and Sponsoring the DEI&B Journey: Four Experiences That Help Leaders Get There

By Diversity, Leadership

“You’ve got my supportwhatever you need,” the CEO of the company proclaimed. That’s the sort of statement we would want to hear from a CEO—whatever the issueright?  

My heart sank; his newly appointed VP of Inclusion had just spent an hour taking the combined executive and senior management teams through her draft plan to advance the organization’s inclusion journey over the year. Her plan was impressive—it detailed how the company would form and charter employee resource groups, identify key performance indicators, and connect them to a thorough series of activities and events that would ensure that the company’s inclusion strategy would be woven into their existing overall objectives and plans. She spoke with grounded surety, beginning her presentation by saying, “What I am going to show you will only get better with your input. We need to create this plan together and there is no one way to get there. Each of useach of youneeds to play a visible and distinct role in where we are going, and it’s up to you to choose how you will do that.”  


So what was the problem?  It was the CEO’s “whatever you need” comment. The VP of inclusion had just said, “Each of you needs to play a visible and distinct role…” Too often, “whatever you need…” is code for “I’m not sure what my role should be, so just tell me.” 

C-suite players are sometimes unaware that their employees will scrutinize every action, word, and decision related to a company’s inclusion strategy. Seeing an executive support DEI&B is helpful, but not nearly as much as seeing them take a distinct, active role in leading the effort. When I heard CEOs make this kind of statement in the past, it usually meant that the person in the VP of Inclusion’s role would have to hold the CEO’s hands throughout the process, which is not ideal. 

The CEO’s posture here should feel familiar to many of you, especially if you are a member of the dominant or insider group. Like this CEO, we’re sensitive enough to know that when it comes to DEI&B, we need to work with our colleagues from under-represented groups, and not take over the effort. We are also aware enough to know that there are things we don’t don’t see or experience in our workday worlds that our colleagues from other groups do experience, so we assume a more passive posture, hoping that doing so sends the right message.  

Striking the right balance between naming and owning the organization’s commitment to DEI&B and lifting up and holding others accountable for their contribution to the effort can feel like threading a needle. When in doubt, choose ownership over “just tell me what to do…” 

Share your expectations for achieving diversity representation goals, for example. Even better,  re-formulate or expand your team in accordance with those goals, THEN invite others to do the same. More personally, accept the possibility that an element of unconscious bias may be at play in your thinking. When you discover those elements, talk about your discovery and what you will do about it.  

Leading and sponsoring DEI&B is a leadership competency unlike any other. Acquiring the skill requires learning from the following experiences:

  1. Discovering our own (unconscious) mindsets: Examining one’s own lived experience when it comes to the messaging, socialization, and conditioning with respect to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, and ability. Each of us inherits programming—the issue isn’t if we have it but how it impacts our credibility as leaders.
  2. Misstepping: A developmental step in learning this leadership skill requires doing it wrong before knowing how to do it right. Once we become aware of our mindsets, we must practice catching ourselves reacting to a situation based on our conditioning in ways that are counter to our espoused DEI&B values. This takes insight and courage.
  3. Owning and Recovering: Learning to name our missteps and take steps to recover from them.
  4. Noticing and Intervening when others make similar missteps.

Here’s the catch—you can’t learn from an experience you don’t have. Notice if you have a tendency to not engage in some DEI&B activities because you don’t want to misstep. Step IN: leading in DEI&B doesn’t mean you have to do it perfectly. You will misstep, but when you do, own it and keep going.  

We know how hard taking these sorts of risks can be, so we designed a special workshop on how to lead and sponsor DEI&B activities in your organizations. Our Leading and Sponsoring the DE&I Journey workshops—when delivered with teams of leaders all working in the same organization—can accelerate the experiential learning cycle and hyper-lift your organization’s engagement in the critical actions necessary to make the workplace an environment where everyone can thrive. 

Effective DEI&B leaders don’t wait to do it perfectly; they take action and course correct as they go, humbly making amends and repairs when needed. Instead of asking, “Tell me what to do,”  ask, “Do you have any feedback for me on my most recent DEI&B effort?” 

If not now, when? sign

Tips on Starting a DE&I Office in an Organization

By Diversity

It’s a phenomenon that happens every day—more frequently since the heightened focus on racial justice and diversity, equity and inclusion began in the spring of 2020:

well-meaning organizations rushing to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion function or office that is embedded in their business.

The goal of such as DEI office is to not only help with compliance issues like hiring and employment practices, but also to promote positive employee engagement activities such as employee resource groups and diversity councils that advise and advocate for equity across the enterprise.

I’ve got several clients and even friends who are Chief Diversity Officers or Senior VPs of diversity in their organizations. Some of them report making great progress in key areas such as representation, employee engagement and creating real business practices that promote equity and diversity. Others work to manage their frustration with the unrelenting resistance and skepticism they encounter from their peers or senior leaders. As an outside observer, their roles appear to be very stressful. Most of them become the voice for minoritized or underrepresented group members within their organizations, and they have to manage the paradox of gently (usually) leading their colleagues and CEOs towards their vision of DE&I for the organization on the one hand, while hearing personal accounts from employees on how they don’t see or feel inclusion efforts are really making a difference. CDO level turnover rates are high, and when they leave, they are less likely to take another diversity chief role, opting instead for a different type of job that is less stressful.

In 2021, hiring of diversity chiefs tripled within Standard & Poor’s 500 index firms, according to a report by Russell Reynolds and Associates. However, only about 53% of S&P 500 firms have a Senior Diversity role, up from 47% in 2018.  Given that CDO roles have been common in corporations for two decades or longer, one has to wonder if organizations who are just now creating an executive-level diversity function are doing so in part to keep up with the competition and pursuit of the best talent, or if their efforts aren’t more about optics than about a commitment to equity and the tenants of inclusion. I’m pretty sure if I asked the CEOs of the Fortune 100 companies I’ve worked with if they felt their commitment to diversity was more about optics and appearances, all of them would take great offense. But given the struggle to make progress in representation numbers in all but a few sectors, this adage applies: “if you want to know where somebody really stands when it comes to commitment to DEI&B (Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging), look at their feet,” meaning judge them on what they are actually doing versus what they say they want to do.

Is taking a rushed, unmethodical approach to setting up a new diversity function wrong or bad given what’s happening in the world? My answer is “No”, even if the organization is late to engage or if their commitment feels tentative. Starting the process—however imperfect—has got to be better than doing nothing, right? Most of us in the corporate DE&I space have examples of ill-conceived or poorly executed diversity function launches that created scar tissue in the culture that took years to heal. To learn more about the dos and don’ts, I talked with a few of my CDO/diversity executive friends and colleagues about what they think executive teams need to consider when starting a diversity function, and what advice they would offer to the individuals who are placed in those positions. Here’s what I learned.

For executive teams and heads-of-entity:

  • CDOs or heads of diversity offices need to be not afraid to speak truth to power and to have the confidence to say what needs to be said. Change is not fun, so you have to be resilient and expect push-back and to be ready to apply the pressure, gently and at the right times. Being a member of an (underrepresented) group doesn’t qualify anyone for those sorts of jobs, even if we’ve got great leadership and people skills. You can start with someone like that, but they are going to need support to be successful. It’s always a team effort, and if they don’t get executive sponsorship and the resources to be successful, they will fail. There is a lot to know if you are in that role, especially when it comes to understanding the range of diversity dimensions, including Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Accessibility, and Justice,” said Dr. Gena Davis of True Synergy, a consulting company that actually does outsourced Diversity function start-up and management for private clients in the entertainment industry and other sectors. ¹
  • Diversity chiefs need to develop and use their systems thinking skills to imbed diversity or “DEIBA&J.” It’s a multidisciplinary challenge involving change management, organizational development, professional and talent development, strategy, and execution. Setting priorities and connecting all of the actions into a coherent plan takes experience and practice.  

For example, I was brought in to deliver training to help a client engage senior leaders who were dominant group members of what the client called “non-diverse” leaders in an organization-wide inclusion effort. The client invested a lot of resources and energy into making sure everyone got a thorough and impactful introductory learning experience. As the last groups started to do the training, I was invited to a meeting with volunteers who had agreed to be “change champions” to help sustain the learning people got from the training. The executive sponsor attended the meeting and I could tell they were anxious by comments like, “We’ve invested a LOT of money in this,” and “People better start showing it was worth it.” In the meeting, we discovered that the training wasn’t linked to any tangible expectation or next step for the organization. The training was THE diversity strategy, period. The sponsor, DEI chief, and change champions all learned a valuable lesson: imbedding DEIBA&J needs to be composed of both events and internal activities that address the way people work, day-to-day.  

  • Avoid thinking that hiring a person or persons to work in diversity means that the executive team now doesn’t have responsibility for advancing it. The opposite is true; dedicating resources to diversity will only yield results if and when the executive team lives and breathes and behaves the espoused values of the organization with regard DEIBA&J. “We have a saying that applies to companies who do DEIBA&J effectively says Dr. Gena: ‘Make the company match the brand’ and we believe it.” 

For diversity chiefs, directors, or managers who were promoted from within: 

I asked Tanya Blackmon, the President of Auspen Consulting and the former Chief DE&I Officer of a large healthcare organization, to share what she knows.  Here are few of her gems:

  • Ask the executives, “What does that mean to you for us to ‘do’ diversity, equity, and inclusion?” Sometimes it really means, “Can you help us figure out what to do about important holidays like Black History Month, Cinco de Mayo, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, and such?” Be prepared for their answers to be all over the map. It will give you a good idea of how you might be able to be an ally to them as they learn more about what you are doing.   
  • Set an intent and be ready for it to be a long-term journey. It’s important to take a long- term view of what you are doing and remember your ultimate intention, even if no one else does. You have to meet people where they are and realize that everyone moves on this journey at a different pace.” 
  • Be ready to encounter resistance and to expect and even invite it. If you don’t feel any resistance in your work, it may be because people have gone silent versus supporting DEIBA&J. I learned to view no resistance as a bad thing; it’s a totally natural reaction for people, especially if they are comfortable with the status quo. if you’re not feeling any resistance, chances are you’re not moving the culture.

Dr. Gena Davis offered a few great suggestions as well:

  • If possible, before taking the job, clarify the organization’s goals for creating a diversity function or office. The more specific you can make your questions the better. Here are a few ideas about what sorts of questions to ask.
    • What is the organization’s intent behind creating a diversity function?
    • How will we/you know if we are making progress and how will we be measuring it? 
    • What sort of financial resources is the company going to commit towards diversity?
    • How will the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion be incorporated into the organization’s strategy?

Here are a few suggestions I’ve learned from others:

  • Go on a listening tour or set up listening circles to hear from as wide and diverse a set of employees as possible. This process gives you a chance to develop dialogue and rapport with a lot of people, which also helps them understand what you see as the diversity office’s role for the company. To do this, identify the key questions that you want to ask everybody. Tanya once told me her last listening tour encompassed feedback from over 700 employees (in small groups and individually) in an organization of over 10,000 people.
  • Form a diversity (or DEIBA&J) advisory council. They can become your board of directors of sorts and give you input and feedback in the direction, focus, and effectiveness of your department. Make sure the committee is composed of passionate key players, and don’t limit it to people who are thoroughly familiar with diversity, equity, and inclusion. If they are capable senior level professionals, they will learn their way into being an Advisory Council Member.

There is no one way to start and lead a DEI office or function, no prescribed or guaranteed formula. Each diversity chief has their own strengths, limitations, experience, and knowledge that they need to humbly and attentively pair with what they perceive the organization’s needs are. What’s clear is that the world is becoming more diverse, and companies who do DE&I effectively will have the competitive advantage. 

They already do.

 

¹ Remembering to use this long acronym “DEIBA&J” is another piece of advice I got from Dr. Gena. “If we’re going to talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion, we can’t leave out access, which is such an important and overlooked element of diversity, both in society and in organizations. When we look at all of those different dimensions together, we create belonging, which is why we include the “B” and for progressive companies, even in the for-profit sector, “Justice” is becoming more and more important to them, especially the new Z demographic entering the workplace.”