This is Becoming Inclusive from The Kaleidoscope Group, where we’re thinking differently about diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more empowered people at work. We’re committed to real change and that begins with real conversations. Welcome in.
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In today’s episode Sr. Director Gary Alveranga joins Becoming Inclusive host Reggie Ponder about the state of DEI in the corporate world. Alveranga offers a valuable and unvarnished take opportunities and challenges facing DEI professionals and leaders; the dramatic uptick in corporate DEI initiatives as a result of social and socio-political events in America; and other factors impacting the demand for positive change in the workplace and beyond. The conversation goes further by talking in depth about what’s transactional in DEI versus what’s transformational to help set a realistic standard for strategic and sustainable DEI.
After the death of George Floyd in 2020, corporate leaders across industries were keen on stepping up to address socio-economic disparities in the workplace and society writ large. As a result, real change is underway if we can harness the opportunities presented, according to Alveranga. Given his decades-long experience in DEI consulting, he certainly knows what he’s talking about.
While Alveranga is optimistic about the direction things are headed in, he does express concerns about purely transactional strategic approaches. Transactional approaches simply check a box to accomplish a task or responsibility, whereas more thoughtful transformational approaches are more sustainable and meaningful in a cultural sense. He added that managing risk is also a priority for leaders, and this can present an obstacle for DEI at times since many leaders can be risk-averse, and for good reasons.
But what does transformational look like in terms of outcomes? To illustrate this, Alveranga used a common analogy in the DEI space—simply put “we have to approach DEI with our hearts and our hands. What exactly does that mean. Our hearts reflect our intent to want to address the needs for more diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our hands are the actions we take to realize the change we want to see.
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