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The Power of Diversity

Learning what diversity really means with Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi

We love learning, and this month's Masterclass did not disappoint! We hosted Katie Donovan-Adekanmbi, an Inclusion and Cohesion Specialist who has spent 15 years building sustainable communities. Oh,' and she is the founder of BCohCo Ltd and a proud dyslexic. Katie spent an hour with us talking about the power of diversity and what it means.

"A lot of the organizations that I work with use the word without actually knowing how to do it. A lot of people have been doing these things in a very tokenistic tick box kind of way."

Here is some of what we learned:

Many companies have been providing diversity training, but it is in the form of quick online training that tends to not lead to actual diversity. Katie tells us that diversity is just as important as communication, team-building, and negotiation skills but is often not given the exact value by companies.

With the events of 2020 and protests for equality that erupted worldwide, companies took a look inward and evaluated the inequality within their organizations.

"When we're thinking about inclusion, diversity, cohesion, and equality, the reality is that we're always combating things like prejudice, discrimination, and bias."

Katie walked us through the systems thinking approach her organization calls the DICE program (Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion, and Equality). We spent quite a bit of time going through the different parts of the DICE program, so if you are a Hive member, be sure to watch the video in our resource hub! If you are not a Hive member, we have included a few highlights below.

Diversity is the mosaic of people in all their glorious difference; this includes culture, race, religion, sexuality, and whatever else the difference may be. We are looking for the cognitive diversity that appears because people are different.

Inclusion is the removal of barriers and making sure that cultures within an organization are accessible to everyone. Obstacles come in many shapes and sizes, from personal biases to policy and even toxic culture.

One of our biggest takeaways from Katie's talk was that diversity is essential, but it can be a complex topic to broach and should be handled gently and understand that others are different. These topics can be triggering, and conversations need to happen in a safe space where everyone is aware and sensitive.

Being dyslexic falls under the umbrella of diversity. If your company has a diversity program that does not mention neurodiversity, it might be time to speak up. You can try and help broaden their understanding of what diversity means.

Katie covered so much more than just these broad topics, so Hive members, we highly encourage you to rewatch the class; it was amazing! If you are not a Hive member but want to check out this Masterclass and so many more, you can join us HERE.

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