What will 2020 look like?
I chose this photo to allow our minds to fill in the blank… Who do you see around your conference table? Who will lead your team? Take a moment and imagine who is around your table.
Now, who else should be invited to join you there?
I also chose this photo because the text, “Do Good Things” spoke to me. As we look to make an impact in our industry, it must be done with a mindset of doing good work. We must focus on coming together to share knowledge and experiences for the good of our industry. There is much work to do, but if we work together we can create change!
As I research leadership and workforce development, I am becoming acutely aware when things seem out of place. I feel a responsibility to act when I see things that should be done differently. As many of you know, the challenge starts with knowing one’s own leadership style (or leading one’s self) and then understanding how best to be a catalyst for change. As I work on developing my skills, I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to try to see things from another’s point of view and try to reach them where they are.
I have an experience to share that shines a light on the change I would like to see in our industry…
Earlier this year, I walked into a leadership group discussing how we could improve our workforce. This sounds like a great situation to walk into, but at a closer look I saw a challenge that needs our attention. The group around the conference table were all older white males dressed in suits. I don’t think this represents our workforce and I think we should work toward creating a group that better represents the workforce. There were no people of color. No women. No young professionals. No facility workers. As much as I respect those men in the room and value their insight as successful leaders in industry, I believe we could benefit from additional insight from a diverse group. Now, building a diverse group of senior leaders is not easy. We must recruit and explain why it is important to have a diverse and inclusive group. These aren’t easy conversations. It takes courage from leadership and the willingness to listen to others who may think differently. We must also be willing to invite leaders who may not necessarily have the traditional titles associated with the C-suite. Statistics show the C-suite is not diverse, so how can we adapt and solve this problem.
I understand that an initiative to be diverse and inclusive doesn’t happen overnight. I do believe we have a responsibility to point out when we see things need to change, so that we can improve. As I learn how to do this more effectively, I hope this blog will inspire others to look at how they can be change agents as well. The rest of this story is an example of something that “in my opinion” needs to change.
As I turn to leave, I noticed there actually was a woman in the room. She was a member of the event staff at the director level. She sat on the edge of her chair leading forward to hear… This image of her sitting in the back corner along the wall, the only one not at the table, is forever burned in my mind…
In 2020, WE MUST DO BETTER!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Comment here or feel free to send me a direct message.