Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Don't Shy Away From Discussing Difficult Topics Of Race And Equity At Work - FASTCOMPANY

by Michelle Kedem
Originally published: August 9, 2016

When a news event becomes a topic of national conversation, it's important that mission-driven organizations address it head on.

When I was growing up in the 1980s, my father reminded me repeatedly: "Never talk politics or religion at work. You have nothing to gain and a lot to lose."

But those were different times. Today, when an organization’s leadership fails to acknowledge what its team may be going through after a traumatic event—from terrorism to acts of racial injustice to the wide range of other events impacting people's lives—it misses an opportunity to engage its team and make progress toward real change. 

This is particularly true for organizations committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You don’t have to take sides or have the perfect words. Acknowledging what people are going through and creating safe spaces for conversation goes a long way toward cultivating a workplace culture in which everyone on the team feel invested.