Takeaways from Diversity, Equity And Inclusion For Communications Virtual Certificate Series

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This week ALI Conferences had part 3/3 of their Diversity, Equity And Inclusion For Communications Virtual Certificate Series, these were some of the key takeaways:

Experience Willow’s Mission and Belonging in Organizations


Kevin Finke, founder of Experience Willow, discussed the company’s mission to promote better lives through design and the importance of belonging in fostering psychological safety and effectiveness in organizations. He emphasized the significance of empathy, inspiration, and ideation in human-centered design and stressed the role of culture in creating positive employee experiences and employer branding. Kevin also highlighted the detrimental effects of the ‘imposter syndrome’ and the need to cultivate a sense of belonging in the workplace. He spoke about the importance of emotional intelligence, respect, care, and appreciation, as well as the key drivers of a sense of belonging, and shared examples of companies that have successfully fostered this feeling through cultural synonyms.

New Global Initiative and Employee Engagement


Kevin shared examples of successful employee engagement programs from other companies, including CBR’s program that grew into a community relations tool, Pepsico’s initiative empowering women, and CBR’s program emphasizing employee essentialness leading to high training completion rates. Denise Pearson, Vice Chancellor And Chief Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Officer | Pennsylvania’s State System Of Higher Education was invited to present on inclusive language in organizations.

Inclusive Language and Communication Principles


Denise Pearson, Vice Chancellor And Chief Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Officer | Pennsylvania’s State System Of Higher Education a seasoned social scientist, led a session on inclusive language, emphasizing its importance in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. She defined inclusive language as communication that avoids bias and prejudice, and shared examples from her own experience as a university teacher. Denise underscored the role of communication professionals in promoting inclusive language, and provided principles for such communication. She also discussed the negative consequences of exclusionary language, including damaged relationships, reduced productivity, and diminished creativity. The team reflected on their own experiences of exclusion and inclusion based on language, affirming the need for mindfulness in communication.

Addressing Exclusionary Language in Workplace


Denise Pearson, Vice Chancellor And Chief Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Officer | Pennsylvania’s State System Of Higher Education led a discussion on the impact of exclusionary language in the workplace. Ann, from Carlton Hospital shared an instance where a communication was received as exclusionary due to using a traditional marriage and partnership poster. Kevin shared another issue encountered at a manufacturing facility, where digital screens displayed the same content to all employees despite the differences in amenities between the manufacturing staff and corporate staff. Denise proposed conducting a communication audit focusing on inclusive language to avoid damaging relationships and increasing turnover rates. She emphasized the importance of understanding the experiences of different stakeholder groups through a climate survey and using genderless language to ensure sensitivity, particularly in diverse international or multicultural environments.

Promoting Equity and Inclusion in Organizations


Kristen T. Cook, VP Engagement, Inclusion & Diversity | Equifax, Evener Scott, Director Of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion | HonorHealth & Kevin discussed the importance of inclusive language and digital inclusion in promoting equity and inclusion within organizations. They highlighted the challenges of effective communication, especially in diverse and evolving workforces, and the role of personal communication in addressing these hurdles. The team also emphasized the significance of digital literacy, user-friendly tools, and metrics for measuring the impact of digital inclusion efforts. Lastly, they shared strategies for improving patient care, the role of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID) in their approach, and their final advice for internal communicators.
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