A Current Iteration of Diversity and Inclusion

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Someone with deep interest in diversity and inclusion, but who doesn’t work directly in the field, recently posed a question.  He’d found this sentence in a brief history of equal employment opportunity, diversity and inclusion (D&I):  “With each of [several historical] iterations, the concept of EEO moved from a reactive, exclusively legalistic model to a more proactive, business-driven paradigm.”

His question:  “‘Proactive business-driven paradigm.’ That’s quite a statement. I wonder what it means?”

His comment reminded me once again how easy it is to fall into jargon. Those of us in the culture (in this case, of D&I) don’t even realize we’re in it till we’re out of it.  It’s that fish in water thing.

COLLUSION

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Collusion is a strong word.  As it relates to diversity and inclusion, collusion means, “cooperation with others, knowingly or unknowingly, to reinforce stereotypical attitudes, prevailing behavior and norms.”*

Diversity Revisited

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I recently got involved in a LinkedIn discussion about – you guessed it – diversity.  Rob Jones, CEO of IngoodCompany in Pittsburgh, launched the conversation six or seven weeks ago in the Diversity-A World of Change group with an article by Kellye Whitney provocatively titled, “U.S. Leaders Rank Diversity Least Important Leadership Principle.”  Rob posed the question, “Are we seeing the ‘diversity’ train reaching the end of the line?”

It was a conversation for which I’d been longing. The field of diversity and inclusion (D&I) has made progress and regress.  The

Memorial Day

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My neighbor was deployed to Iraq for the past 7½ months.  Her family kept a jar of chocolate kisses in the kitchen.  Starting with over 230 candies on the day of her departure, her 9-year-old daughter ate a kiss for each day of her mother’s deployment that passed.  The jar is empty now.  My neighbor is home, until her next assignment in a few short weeks.

Thus ends a tour and begins a series of cultural transitions that is at once unique to each service member, common among service members and unimaginable to many civilians.