Supporting Diversity

Yesterday I attended the Quarantine Book Club online event created by Mule Design, with authors David Dylan Thomas and Erika Hall. David and Erika were kindly fielding questions from a diverse audience; I'm assuming with many jobs.

My question was related to something David and Erika seemed sure of, and had knowledge of, that I certainly was not as familiar with.

What strategies do you have for dealing with conscious and unconscious bias to promote diversity?

I've paraphrased the quote. Perhaps David or Erika took a copy of the exact text so I could offer the verbatim text. Their answers were really great. In-fact the whole session was really great.

My motivations are personal, but really I've enjoyed working in places with more diverse teams as we seemed to do more impactful, valuable work.

To boil down advice received; I'll offer the following:

  • There are multiple reasons for bias.
  • There are many biases.
  • Biases can help as quick analysis tools.
  • We need many people with diverse backgrounds to check those biases.
  • Organizationally and personally, reform is not a short-term outcome.
  • Often change can require a real desire.
  • Environment can play a role in biases and prejudice.
  • Organizational change may require different incentives.

I hope this helps and you buy David's book when it comes out this summer to learn more. I'm not an expert in diversity, but I found this interesting.

By Lewis Cowles