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Diversity Consultants Are Healers, Not Magicians

consultants

I was on the phone with one of my favorite colleagues debriefing a recent client engagement. We’d done a series of focus groups for an organizational assessment and we’d gotten some fantastic data and comments. “They’re such a great client!” my colleague exclaimed. I enthusiastically agreed. That exchange got me […]

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What Makes Someone Latinx? It’s More Than Just DNA

multi-identity Latinx

Camila, a successful professional, grew up in Buenos Aires with an Argentinian mom and a Guatemalan dad. Her native language is Spanish, and she dances tango and sips yerba mate. But when asked about her cultural identity, “Latina” is not her first answer. “Because my grandparents are European Jews who […]

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Coaching Is Not Mentoring: Underrepresented Employees Need Both

coaching

In a recent meeting with a major client my consultant team and I were faced with an unusual request. A transgender executive working for the organization had been facing a series of small but cumulatively damaging setbacks in her career after many years of success. Her slow-motion derailment was harming […]

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The 4 Keys to Being a Best-in-Class D&I Professional

professional

“How can I do what you do?” asked a bright young woman on the phone one spring morning. She enthusiastically described how she’d studied and experienced various cultures and was inspired to do work that makes a difference. She’d read some of my articles, saw me speak and felt a […]

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8 Things to Expect From a Highly Competent Diversity Consultant

diversity consultant

For 20 years, I’ve been a diversity consultant and trainer — as an internal employee, subcontractor for other firms and president of my own company. Aside from providing excellent value to my clients, my goal has been to improve the reputation of my field by raising the bar on what […]

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Eliminating What’s ‘Offensive’ Isn’t the Goal of an Inclusive Workplace

offensive

There’s good news and bad news about our current preoccupation with eliminating offensive language and behaviors from the workplace. The good news is that the feelings and experiences of a wider swath of humanity matter more now. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants and folks with disabilities are no […]

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Think You Need Cultural Sensitivity Training? Think Again

cultural sensitivity

I’ve been getting more requests for cultural sensitivity training lately. The scenario is almost always the same: Manager has a habit of saying inappropriate things to staff or customers. One day, one of those staff members or customers files a complaint, or shares evidence of the bad behavior on social […]

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Sending All Employees to Racial Bias Training Unlikely to Solve Starbucks’ Problem

Starbucks

Once again, someone in an organization made a poor behavior choice whose harmful consequences were recorded and made public. This time it was coffee giant Starbucks, and once again, people are freaking out. Starbucks is freaking out so much, the company is investing millions of dollars to close 8,000 stores […]

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Inclusion Doesn’t Mean Including Everything and Everyone

inclusion

It’s a normal learning process for humans to apply our latest discovery to everything we encounter for a while. When my former neighbor’s young daughter learned about the physical differences between boys and girls, for days she did nothing but talk about anatomy and ask adults in the supermarket about […]

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We Need More Tolerance for Error in Diversity & Inclusion Work

error

Not long ago, I made a painful mistake.  I was co-facilitating a workshop for a couple hundred corporate leaders on retreat at a beachside luxury hotel.  We were debriefing an exercise that invites participants to go deeper into their identities and relative power positions.  I asked a participant who raised […]

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