On behalf of Works for Women, we hope that it has been an amazing couple of months for you in developing new relationships – whether it be through seeking personal mentorship or sponsorship, or setting up your own personal board of directors. We know how important the identification of a sponsor is in your continued success and advancement. Cultivating a strong network and ensuring you have advocates are critical steps for advancement and development. As you continue to cultivate these relationships, we are excited to share our November challenge with you.
November Challenge – Be Inclusive Every Day
Increasing diversity and inclusion in organizations is not about “doing the right thing”—it is essential to success. Inclusive leaders make everyone feel welcome and appreciated, which in turn leads to more innovation, more team citizenship behavior, and more feelings of both belongingness and uniqueness in employees. Leaders at all levels who celebrate difference in gender, race, and ethnicity; promote board diversity; engage men as agents of change; regularly check their own unconscious biases; and work to close the gender pay gap can achieve success for their companies. While being “diverse” by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups onto your team is a start, without focusing on inclusion, it can quickly lead to tokenization. Inclusion is about feeling like you can bring your whole self to work, no apologies necessary, regardless of what background you come from. When that happens, it’s beyond empowering and creates a safe space for everyone to participate without the fear of retribution or silencing. To know that your unique experiences and perspectives are being heard and valued leads to engagement and excitement.
To join the November Challenge, consider these five direct actions you can take to becoming a more inclusive leader:
We encourage you to start, or evolve your journey in becoming an inclusive leader this month. We are all leaders in our own way, and by starting this dialogue we can look to remove potential barriers to the advancement of women and help to make Alberta a better place for women to work.
In addition to the tools outlined above, when it comes to being inclusive every day, here are some additional resources on recognizing your own unconscious bias.
In closing, thank you again for helping to spark dialogue, build awareness, and inspire action. We are reminded that change does not happen overnight, but by uniting our community we can take direct action to impact change. On behalf of Works for Women, thank you for helping us drive change in Alberta.