Welcome to the inaugural CJBS alumni Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) newsletter. A tremendous amount of ink has been spilled regarding DEI matters propelled by the racial injustice tsunami we have all born witness to in the past year. As a consequence many questions come to the fore i.e. ‘what is our responsibility as humankind on this planet?’ and more specifically ‘as professionals wrapped in a (privileged) community?’. This covers race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic background, ideological viewpoints and many more. In times of pain it can be easy to forget that not only are we One CJBS community, but really we are One Human Community. We share in the experience of what it means to take up space in this world and to live every day intentionally and conscientiously. This is the start of a series of updates to kick start and keep you updated on relevant DEI topics that you can shareback and glean insights from to bring back and hopefully implement within your organizations and communities. For CJBS students and alumni, by CJBS students and alumni. Understand everyone is on different parts of the journey and need time to digest, please take care. Your feedback and suggestions for future topics are welcome. Want to get involved or opt out? Want to share your stories or expertise? You can reach out to us at email@example.com - Sami, Mandeep (EMBA 2020), Nancy, Ghazaleh (EMBA 2015), Liliana (EMBA 2012), Ariel (EMBA 2018)
Learning Corner: What is DEI? By Sami Omar, EMBA 2020
Although it has existed in one form or another for some time DEI has taken centre stage of late and rightly so. But what is DEI? What does it really mean? And why is it relevant to you? DEI describes programs policies and initiatives that promote and support the inclusion of all people of diverse (the avoidance of the word different was deliberate) genders, gender identities, races, ages, sexual orientations, religions, cultures, socioeconomic classes, abilities and disabilities or any other arbitrary self-imposed differentiator designed to categorize us. Expanded from D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) - DEI recognises the importance of equity that affords everyone access to opportunities that allow for their success, participation and contribution in a meaningful way. Paraphrasing Verna Myers, Activist and VP of Inclusion at Netflix: Think of it like this - diversity is inviting people to a dance party, inclusion is asking each person to dance and equity is providing every one of them with their own headphones so that they can listen to the music to which they can best dance to. This is why the D, E and I are all intertwined and are all needed. So, unless you like being at a party dancing with people not too dissimilar from you on a near empty dance floor then these three letters are relevant to you. And if it is relevant to you, then become a champion and promoter of DEI. Does your organization promote diversity? Does it provide an equitable platform for all to succeed? Does it give a podium for each to speak up so that their voices can be heard? Are they listened to and their perspectives incorporated in the organisation’s strategy and mission? When the answer to all of these questions is yes then your dancefloor will be diverse, equitable and inclusive and it will be better and richer for it.
DEI in the News
New York Times Calls for Workplace Changes in Diversity Report (New York Times): The New York Times made a public commitment to bringing about changes to the company’s workplace culture after several months of interviews and analysis with employees. “The Times is a difficult environment for many of our colleagues,” the report found. People of color described “unsettling and sometimes painful day-to-day workplace experiences.” Company culture and values are at the center of their strategy with a goal to build a more inclusive environment for all. This includes setting clear expectations for norms and behaviors for all employees, better support for employee resource groups (E.R.G.s), and formalizing an ongoing employee group to advise leadership on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Read more in the report link. Credit Suisse, PwC, Zurich Insurance and Linklaters sign onto the ‘10,000 Black Interns initiative’ (The Financial Times): The 10,000 Black Interns initiative will offer paid work experience, training and mentorship to help provide the foundation for more black people to pursue careers in business. GAIN (Girls are Investors), Founded by Tilly Franklin, Chief Investment Officer of the Cambridge University Endowment Fund, has also partnered with 10,000 Black Interns. Building Allyship for Women at Work (Forbes): “Recent projections based on economic scenarios modeled by McKinsey and Oxford Economics estimate that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024”. Forbes goes into conversation with Traci Wade, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Oracle.
CJBS in the News
Kunda Kids: Dele Olafuyi (MBA 2017) and Louisa Olafuyi established Kunda Kids, a content creation platform publishing books that tell diverse stories. Its a fact that children notice race years before adults want to talk about it and its important that we begin the education process with them early. Currently only a fraction of children's books published in the U.K. feature a black main character, making Kunda Kids even more needed for our culture.
How You Can Help or Get Involved
Educate yourself on race and DEI:
Witness History: Witness Black History (Podcast), BBC World Service
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo, PhD
1619 (New York Times) (Podcast)
How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
Build a more inclusive culture:
Striving for a more inclusive workplace? Start by examining your language, Think with Google
CliftonStrengths by Gallup: “More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies have used CliftonStrengths to bring the power of strengths-based development to their workplace culture. Every year, more organizations of all sizes give leaders and their teams the chance to become great at what they're naturally good at.”
Donate to local organizations:
US: National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, United Negro College Fund, Black Youth Project 100, Color of Change, Justice and Equality fund. Join some of their mailing lists and take the actions they suggest.