When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.
Trudy Bourgeois came to the work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) reluctantly. She wanted 'nothing to do with' previous ineffective efforts to improve DEI in organizations. Yet the work kept calling her. As a former executive in a Fortune 500 consumer products company she brings pragmatism and passion. And results.
Here's what to pay attention to as you listen to the episode today: first, where she sees hope for the changing landscape in terms of equity in organizations. Second, listen to Trudy's perspective on how to own the value that you bring to your organization so that you can speak with authenticity and with power. This is particularly for women of color and women in general. Third, listen for Trudy's perspective on the role of white and black women in moving the equity conversation forward.
[09:31]: This is not new. What is new is that through the power of a smartphone, people had an emotional connection. Their consciousness was touched. I think that organizations would say many of them, that they were on the journey. I would humbly submit that they might have been on the journey, they hadn't gone very far.
So many of them would say, it's a business imperative. I don't know as a former line manager, I don't know what business imperative would go unresolved for 50 years and people would keep their jobs.
[15:45]: If people realize, you spend the largest percentage of your life at work. Why do you want to wake up every day and put a mask on and go pretend to be somebody that you're not, just so that you can get a paycheck? If your value is that good, then you know what? Your attitude, it should always be, “I am choosing to give my gifts and talents and add my value and impact here. I’m not being held hostage to stay here. I’m making a choice.”
[18:49] ... organizations talk about innovation, yet when you stifle people and you put them in a box and then they get scared and then they don't know their value, you're not going to have any innovation and you're sure not going to have any collaboration. You sure are not going to have all the things that people write up about how they want to function as a company, but this notion of knowing your value is so important. It's important for everybody, that it's especially important for women and people of color.
[28:42] ... I am specifically calling on women, us, to stop pointing the finger at men and the lack of progress that we've made. This is not to suggest that we don't need male champions, but I am calling on us to have the courageous conversation.
Trudy Bourgeois https://workforceexcellence.com/trudy/
Center for Workforce Excellence https://workforceexcellence.com/
Equality: Courageous Conversations About Women, Men and Race to Spark a Diversity and Inclusion Breakthrough
HBR: Why Diversity Efforts Fail https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail