Leaders Champion Inclusion and Diversity

Miriam de Dios offered up a challenge to all of us back at “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” in September:

Champion Inclusion

That seems like a no-brainer—anyone who studies organizational effectiveness and community development knows that diversity and inclusion make for stronger teams, organizations, and communities. But Miriam offered a couple angles we hadn’t considered.

Oftentimes, when we think of diversity and inclusion, we think mostly of employees, boards, and building a leadership team.

But what about customers and vendors?

To have a greater community impact, are you sourcing services and products from diverse vendors? And wouldn’t this send a message to your own employees?

Can you take this further by ensuring that your customers, clients, or those you serve through your work are also diverse? Do you examine your communications, marketing, website, outreach efforts, and networking opportunities to ensure diversity?

I keep running into Clemen Wilcox. When we first met, she told me about her business, Everything Spanish.

Simply and perhaps crudely put, Clemen helps white-bread Iowa businesses understand how to market to people who speak Spanish. This is critical in Iowa, with a growing population of people who are Hispanic and enter the workforce at all levels, in many communities, and a broad variety of industries.

That’s just one example of how anyone can champion inclusion and diversity by thinking beyond just employees to those who are served (customers) and those who serve us (vendors).

Are you championing inclusion and diversity as much as you can?

This post is part of a set of posts inspired by the Business Record’s “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” event in September 2017. Learn more, download a pdf, and see all the speakers here.

Post 1: Leaders Develop Everyone
Post 2: Leaders Encourage Thinking “A Step Above”
Post 3: Leaders Ask “Does it Need to be Said?”
Post 4: Leaders Use Time Wisely: Rethink the Block

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