‘Diversity of Thought’: be very careful...

The uncomfortable truth is that when considering Diversity and Inclusion initiatives you have to work out why you are doing them and deeply examine your motivation.

If you believe being inclusive of 'diversity of thought’ in your organisation is doing enough, thinking you are managing diverse representation, you are wrong. 

When I refer to diversity of thought here, I mean a variety of preference e.g. those who are on opposite ends of the MBTI scale or those who are more creative thinkers rather than process thinkers, people whose perspectives vary a little. Without addressing demographic visible difference, inequality and access to opportunities, you are maintaining the status quo. Your approach will be a sop to inclusion efforts. 

Please be aware, this is different from neurodiversity, those who have e.g. autism, ADHD, dyslexia etc. These groups are people who are also underrepresented in the workplace and I am not referring to them when I talk about 'diversity of thought'. 

It may be unpalatable but the fact remains,  if you have 'diversity of thought' on your staff but little visible diversity, and few inclusive policies and practice to support that diversity, you are not addressing the underlying issues you need to as a modern, desirable employer or leader. 

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) require you to make the uncomfortable change that results in something new. And, let's be honest, the uncomfortable truth means those currently with the vast majority of the power and authority in our society need to give over some of their ground. 

Marsha Ramroop will share her views on how can boardroom diversity aid boards with  decision making and problem solving at ICSA's Board Dynamics Summit.

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