This blog is about the relationship between organizations and the people who work for them. And, it’s dedicated to the millions of people around the world who go to work every day wanting to do a great job.
Not always.¬†When I’m in the blogosphere, volunteering, or attending church, or at my clients ¬†find myself in groups that are mostly white [certainly mostly North American], mostly of a certain age and economic level. ¬†I’m operating in a bubble.
This struck me over the head a while ago when I was attending the Living Art in southern Vermont. ¬†I looked up early in the training and realized it was the most diverse group of people I’d ever been in.
There we were 24 people. A few more women than men, but not by much. ¬†Ages ranged from 21 to 75. ¬†The youngest was an African American who’d served in the military and was now studying at Columbia Univerity. ¬†The 75 year old was a contemporary art expert and the daughter of holicaust survivors. There were two married couples. ¬†Two french Canadians, an Aussie, a Kiwi [affectionate term for someone from New Zealand] and a German. ¬†There were three East Indian Americans. ¬†There were about 4 students and one full-time mom. ¬†There was a¬†chiropractor¬†and a financier. ¬†It was an incredible workshop on creating. And working with this group of people was an amazing experience.
Back to reality.¬†According to an¬†article¬†in the Globe and Mail a while ago, it will take women in Canada 151 years at the rate we’re going “before the share of men and women at the management level” will be equal.
That’s not just shocking because we know that women make up almost half of the work force in Canada, or that women make most of the buying decisions, but because we know lack of diversity hurts “employee retention, productivity and innovation.”
If as an individual I know I’m in a bubble, how can I expect the organizations I’m involved with to be? How can we, and the institutions we work for, break out of our bubbles?