plenty ok boy
3327 stories
·
13 followers

The Execution Of All Things Turns 20

1 Share

Sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fucking on.

Read the whole story
rocketo
1 day ago
reply
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete

Cathy Park Hong, the Poet Pundit

1 Share
Here is a sample of the questions Cathy Park Hong has been asked in the past two years. Asian people want to know what they should do when they are microaggressed: “What should I say to someone who says, ‘Where do you come from?’ ” White people ask her how to be a better ally: “W... More »
Read the whole story
rocketo
2 days ago
reply
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete

Billionaire Monopolist Jeff Bezos Is Buying Up Single-Family Homes to Rent-Trap ...

1 Share

Billionaire Monopolist Jeff Bezos Is Buying Up Single-Family Homes to Rent-Trap Humanity Forever.

Read the whole story
rocketo
4 days ago
reply
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete

To Avoid DEI Backlash, Focus on Changing Systems — Not People

1 Share

The enemy of well-intentioned DEI initiatives is backlash — and not just from people from privileged groups. Backlash from all directions is often due to DEI initiatives being framed as solutions to individual problems to be fixed rather...

Perhaps in response to the critique that corporate efforts to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion are all talk and no action, an increasing number of companies are taking the matter of diagnosing and resolving inequities more seriously. According to a recent survey, more than 40% have either already conducted a DEI survey or audit or are looking to do so “in the near future.”

But in my own work as a DEI practitioner who often administers, analyzes, and helps companies act on these kinds of assessments, arriving at data-driven insights is only the tip of the iceberg. The far harder challenge is addressing organizational inequities without incurring backlash: strong adverse reactions from individuals and groups that undermine or compromise the positive outcomes DEI initiatives try to create.

Mandatory DEI trainings have been linked to lower levels of representation in leadership positions for Black, Latine, and Asian employees of all genders, and white women, due to resistance from existing leaders. Backlash is well-documented in response to organizational equity efforts like affirmative action policies, as well as broader equity-related social movements. In what has since been called the “#MeToo Backlash,” a 2019 survey following up on the impact of the #MeToo movement found that 19% of men were less willing to hire attractive women, 21% were less willing to hire women for jobs involving close interpersonal interactions, and 27% now avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues.

It isn’t only people from privileged groups that contribute to backlash, either. When the “diversity” of candidates is mentioned as a reason for their hiring, people rate the qualifications and skill of a candidate from a marginalized group lower — even if they themselves are from that same group. And when marginalized employees are presented with a “business case for diversity,” espousing the benefits of diversity on business outcomes, they respond by reporting a lower sense of belonging and less interest in joining the organization.

Why is backlash such a large risk when DEI initiatives are put into practice, especially when the vast majority of workers express support for DEI in the abstract? Because people are strongly motivated to protect their own sense of self-esteem, competence, and “inherent goodness.” When any of these things are challenged, their gut reaction is to resist and reject. If people are told that their language and interactions are biased, that constitutes a challenge to their self-esteem. If people are told that “diversity” and not “skill” played a role in their hiring, or that favoritism played a role in their promotion, that constitutes a challenge to their sense of competence. If people are criticized for being a member of a social group that has negative associations, that constitutes a challenge to “inherent goodness.” Regardless of how true any of these assertions are, these framings run a high risk of resistance, rejection, and backlash.

One powerful method to avoid backlash is by framing DEI initiatives to address inequities as changing systems, rather than changing individuals. By situating an organizational inequity in something less “personal” than an individual or group, like a process, policy, or normalized set of practices, leaders can galvanize the workforce while lowering the risk that people feel personally targeted. Here are some examples of this approach in action, compared to framings that risk activating backlash.

Backlash risk: “Biased hiring managers are only bringing in candidates that look like themselves, which is why we have little racial or gender diversity. To address this, we should have all hiring managers go through training to address their biases.”

Systems framing: “The hiring process doesn’t have consistent guidelines or expectations, putting additional burden on hiring managers, creating an inconsistent experience for candidates, and making it difficult to connect our organizational strategy to our hiring strategy. To address this, we should create initiatives to support hiring managers, like implementing hiring panels, tracking the overall race and gender makeup of the candidate pool through each stage, and coming together to agree on how to make decisions fairly based on resumes and interviews.”

Backlash risk: “Employees with disabilities and those who are neurodivergent aren’t able to navigate the workplace as well as their non-disabled or neurotypical peers. To address this, we should give disabled and neurodivergent employees coaches and run a campaign to help all employees build empathy for these experiences.”

Systems framing: “The employee experience is built around narrow assumptions about the ‘ideal’ employee that no longer hold true for our current workforce, which, among other things, is more disabled and neurodivergent than the workforce of the past. To address this, we should revisit employee onboarding, job design, and the manager-direct report experience to be more accessible, then integrate these changes into our general management training.”

To put this approach into practice in your own organization, use these five steps:

1. Collect data to diagnose specific inequities in your organization.

Use a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, whether survey data, focus groups or interview data, network data, or HR data, with employee demographic data to identify inequities in specific aspects of the employee experience. Seek to understand not only “what” inequities exist, but also “why” and “how” they exist. Qualitative data can be a useful tool to assist.

2. Communicate about initiatives using a systems-focused framing.

Make the case that the status quo is inequitable, pointing at the specific inequities you have identified, but maintain that the things to be “fixed” are specific systems, policies, processes, and practices, rather than the people engaging in them. Avoid blaming or shaming individuals or groups, and actively push back against fears that DEI initiatives will do so.

3. As change-making efforts begin, appeal to “fairness.”

“Business case” rhetoric tends to alienate members of marginalized groups. “Multiculturalism” rhetoric that focuses largely on supporting marginalized groups may alienate members of advantaged groups. Instead, focus on “fairness” and stress that DEI efforts both require and will benefit members of all groups.

4. Clearly lay out expectations for change alongside resources and support.

Communicate within the context of every initiative (e.g., building a more inclusive shared language), the initiative’s goals (fewer incidents of microaggressions and disrespectful language), and expectations for accountability (by the time of the next yearly survey, an improved belonging score). Highlight primarily the support available to all (learning resources and leadership coaching), while underscoring the importance of achieving the initiative’s goals within the expected timeline.

5. Sustain momentum by affirming effort and celebrating wins.

Using DEI-related metrics, regularly identify and celebrate wins and achievements while praising the shared effort of all stakeholder groups. Ensure that these celebrations use a similar framing of fairness, universal benefit, and systems improvement as other steps in the process. Finally, regroup the organization around the next objective to meet, and repeat these steps as needed.

To genuinely address and resolve inequities, leaders must first understand the nuances and obstacles that so frequently stymie the initiatives they undertake. Backlash is no different, and what can appear at first glance to be knee-jerk defensiveness, ignorance, or fragility, under a more compassionate lens becomes our universal desire to be seen as dignified, competent, and inherently good. If leaders can protect these core needs while coming together to make change, they can create DEI initiatives that succeed.

Read the whole story
rocketo
4 days ago
reply
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete

The Effects of Structural Racism are NOT Normal – FAKEQUITY

1 Share

That’s Not Normal, Stop Thinking it Is

Last night I had a dream-not-quite nightmare, I was in a work meeting with all-white people. I remember the feeling of anxiousness and being afraid of the group. I also dreamt I was holding a baby, but as it turns out I really was holding my not-baby-baby; she has sneaked into my bed and was trying to ‘snugga’ (snuggle). As I was holding the dream-baby I tried to make sense of this all-white people meeting and what they were talking about; I gave up and just held the baby awkwardly and in real life fought for more space on the pillow. In the dream, all the white-people were ok with being in an all-white people meeting.

The feeling of wondering why everyone else was ok to be at a meeting of all-white people is what Heidi (of the Fakequity team) describes as a byproduct of structural racism. We often don’t think twice about why whiteness pervades our society and we’re conditioned to accept and normalize it.

20171020_084046.jpgAs an example, last month I went to the Board Source Conference. They made a big deal about talking about diversity and race in the opening session, provided scholarships to cover the cost of attending to local leaders of color from organizations with budgets under $500,000 – our nametags publicly declared our charitable acceptance by saying “Scholarship,” and they featured sessions talking about race. Yet even with all of this, it was still a conference geared towards white people. The subtle signs and legacy of structural racism were prevalent. I sat through a plenary session with an all-white speaker panel. Many of the sessions were race-neutral or when the speaker introduced race it sounded like an unexplored afterthought. Few others at the conference seemed to notice these signs. Jondou (also of the fakequity team) calls it “knowing what you know what you don’t know.” Most people at the conference didn’t know the conference was catering to whiteness.

Another example is too often Native Americans are left out of data presentations and few stop to ask why. Because of structural racism towards Native American, they have become data-invisible. This effect of structural racism shouldn’t be normalized, instead, we should call out why we aren’t including Native Americans in the dataset, even if it is to report zero participation. By making a small shift to include the race category of Native American/ Indigenous and seeing n/a or zero reminds us we have a responsibility to change the results from zero to something more representative of the community.

Whiteness Isn’t Normal

We’ve been conditioned to believe whiteness is normal. In Melody Hobson’s TED Talk she says “…imagine if I walked you into a room and it was of a major corporation, like ExxonMobil, and every single person around the boardroom were black, you would think that were weird. But if I walked you into a Fortune 500 company, and everyone around the table is a white male, when will it be that we think that’s weird too?”

Whiteness isn’t normal, it is the offspring of structural racism. Part of this legacy of structural racism is a complacency and acceptance into thinking whiteness is normal. Heidi provided these examples of ways structural racism is normalized or excused: “There aren’t enough teacher of color,” segregated communities because of red-lining housing practices, board and leadership of organizations that aren’t diverse, elected bodies that aren’t representative of the people they serve, city and street names honoring white people versus using indigenous names for areas, etc.

Structural racism holds down people of color by normalizing whiteness. My wicked smart colleague Paola Maranan taught me: “Racism is always self-correcting, it works to preserve itself.” Structural racism plays out in our systems is in accepting the status quo, continuing business as usual, and not questioning why things are the way they are. We also tend to marginalize, silence, or label people who call out the need for change. The excuses sound like this: “we tried to find people of color but they aren’t qualified,” “it will take too long,” “that is too drastic a change, it is rocking the boat,” “we provided interpreters and went to their community but no one showed up.” When we let these excuses go it is allowing structural racism and a white-dominated system continue versus questioning what structures or activities were undertaken to get to different results. We have to train our brains to spot structural racism and we must be able to develop ways to call it out and correct the imbalance.

How to Do Better

Training ourselves to see the effects of structural racism isn’t hard, just start questioning everything. You may annoy your colleagues and even yourself, but after a while it works.

Ask Why – Somewhere in the vastness of the internet I read an article about asking why. The writer said to ask why three times. Why are those racialized results the way they are? Why do I feel funny about it? Why is that ok? It doesn’t have to be those three why questions but asking why several times forces us to dig deeper.

Train your brain to look for what is missing – Structural racism limits what we can see and what is presented to us. When we start looking for who is missing it is easier to see. Such as in my example above about missing Native Americans in data, start looking for who is missing and ask why don’t just accept the data as is.

Slow down — Slowing down is important in figuring out what doesn’t feel and sit right. In meetings and especially if you are facilitating, slow the meeting down to think. You can say “I’d like to check for understanding on ___,” or if I’m facilitating I may have people pause to think then write down or draw what they are thinking as a way to process and not just allow talking to happen.

Slow down and recognize people and land. In gatherings recognize the host of the meeting and say thank you for hosting the event, especially if being hosted by a community of color. Recognize we are on Native American land and say so.

Don’t be paralyzed, Take Action – Racism thrives on the status quo, inaction, and nuance or excuses. We have to actively work to correct what racism hands us, and we have to fix the systems that gave us those results. Sometimes these actions are making data corrections, being more inclusive and actively seeking new voices, or calling out what isn’t normal. Do something, don’t just allow things to stay the way they are.

Finally, keep learning and pushing your edge. We all have to keep learning about racism and how it shows up. For me I’m aware of some of my blindspots around things I don’t know. I know I don’t know a lot about poc disabilities and this isn’t natural it is because our society isn’t designed to be inclusive and we force people with disabilities to work harder to participate. My job is to learn more and not be ok with what dominant culture says is normal around disabilities. I have many other things I need to learn so stay tuned so you can learn with me too.

Posted by Erin Okuno, idea and examples from Heidi Schillinger. One day Heidi will have to write another post on this same topic from her perspective.

Fakequity Fridays: If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check <a href="http://fakequity.com" rel="nofollow">fakequity.com</a> for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar – start your Friday with a little fakequity.

Like this:

Like Loading...

Read the whole story
rocketo
4 days ago
reply
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete

All the Water on Planet Earth

1 Comment and 2 Shares
All the Water on Planet Earth How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The featured illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. The next smallest ball depicts all of Earth's liquid fresh water, while the tiniest ball shows the volume of all of Earth's fresh-water lakes and rivers. How any of this water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.
Read the whole story
rocketo
5 days ago
reply
naturally the u.s. would try to take it all
seattle, wa
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories