Diversity is not new. What is new is inclusion.

Dr. Valerie Pruegger
Workplace Fairness Thought Community Luncheon, January 20, 2012

Dr. Pruegger began her talk on Friday with a provocative statement: “Diversity is not new. What’s new is inclusion.”  Organizations are reacting to the pressure for inclusion in a variety of ways, which Pruegger described with ‘D’s: Deny, Derail, Divert, Delay, Diminish, Dire Predictions, Dismiss.  Where do you believe your organization falls?  What perceived, or actual, barriers do you face?  Some of these barriers are hidden. Do you have hidden barriers?

If you are facing barriers to inclusion, Pruegger offered some very practical strategies for upping your game:

Be subversive. In my own line of work, I am realizing that we need to couch our message for change with an agenda and language which meet the needs of our client, even if it is not our first choice. Once the door opens with their language, we can begin to introduce our own message.

Be aware of the political, economic, and social situation. Timing is critical.

Every effort counts. It is easy to become discouraged. It helps to be reminded that the small steps are often as important as the large ones.

Focus on structural change. You can change behaviour but not attitude. Once you have established change with behaviour, attitude often follows.

Recognize that all people are leaders, and ensure you have at least one influential leader on board.

Find the hook. People are motivated by self-interest.

Safety is key.

Take risks.

These tactics are universally applicable. Attendees of our lunch appreciated Valerie Pruegger’s practical, applicable takeaways.

Join the dialogue today at our Workplace Fairness Alberta Discussion group.  http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Workplace-Fairness-Alberta-3717361?goback=%2Egmp_3717361%2Egsm_3717361_1_*2_*2_*2_lna_MANAGER_*2

What systems have you successfully implemented within your organization to encourage inclusion? What barriers have you faced? How did you break them down?

Stay tuned for news on future Workplace Fairness Thought Community luncheons. We will meet on the following dates:

Tuesday February 21
Friday March 23
Friday April 27
Tuesday May 22
Tuesday June 26

For further information about Workplace Fairness Alberta, you are welcome to contact:

Michelle Phaneuf (phaneuf@workplacefairness.ca) or Marjorie Munroe (munroe@workplacefairness.ca), Co-Directors, Workplace Fairness Alberta.

Visit http://www.interculturalinteractions.com to learn more about Dr. Valerie Pruegger and leveraging the competitive advantage through diversity.

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