SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
Let’s Change The Understanding Of What DEIB Means
Let me get straight to it.
White people have felt excluded in DEIB efforts, to the point where many are equating DEIB with having to give up their power.
Some even believe DEIB is just a ploy to oppress White people.
Such people see gains by People of Color as a loss to White people…because to them, opportunity is finite and power is a zero-sum game.
You win. I lose.
It’s human nature to think this way.
But it’s wrong.
Empowering underrepresented people doesn’t mean taking away someone elses power.
People of Color are seeking the power of autonomy and self-sufficiency, not power over White people.
Self-empowered people have control of their lives. They set goals and take actionable steps to achieve them. It means being confident in your ability to make and execute on your decisions.
These opportunities is simply not possible without a level playing field, with glass ceilings, and everyday human biases.
Without equity, People of Color can’t possibly have this opportunities.
DEIB is about creating equitable cultures that offer the same opportunities and support that people in the dominant culture have, just by being part of that culture.
Even the term “dominant culture” shows what I’m talking about.
We have to send a different message.
If we want to make DIEB work for everyone, we need to say loud and clear that the goal of our work is to create a level playing field.
We need to make it understood that lifting up marginalized people benefits the organization as well as all the individuals in the organization, personally.
Our message needs to show that doing this does not mean taking away power, opportunity, or security, but is actually about helping everyone be more self-empowered.
Organization At Its Best Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tawana Bhagwat, has more than twenty-five years of experience directing Human Resource administration, change management, learning and development, facilitation, DEIB, and executive coaching.