Diversity And Inclusion – Introduction Creating Belonging Cultures (Webinar Summary)

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Accord Network

Organizations responding to the voices being amplified today are asking, “How do we bring about real cultural shifts that last and make a difference?”

Integral Alliance and Accord Network came together to host a discussion on the issue that has risen to the forefront of every organization today: diversity and inclusion. Nikki Lerner, who is a consultant, author and speaker, along with Eeva Sallinen Simard and Beth Birmingham, both partners of BE Development Partners, came together to lead a discussion about how to create belonging cultures.

In this discussion, “Belonging Cultures” were defined as being:

 “Lived out in an organization where employees have a sense of feeling secure, recognized, suitable and able to participate as their authentic selves. It is a result of the organization demonstrating commitment to support the acceptance and well-being of all employees, regardless of gender, race or age. Leaders and managers foster a connection and maintain lasting, positive, and encouraging relationships with their diverse team members.”

Beth Birmingham emphasized that the notion of the belonging culture is more than a “nice-to-have”, but rather a strategic necessity, citing evidence of higher performance and profits from organizations representing better ethnic and gender representation. McKinsey reports this year that organizations higher in both gender and ethnic diversity had a higher likelihood of outperformance and improved employee engagement. 

 In order to move organizations forward in these issues, it takes:

    • A new lens to view old problems. 
    • Leadership from senior champions who have courage for change and stay the course. 
    • Remembering who we are in order to pursue our Kingdom mission. 
    • A new kind of culture that includes all voices in decision making.

Bringing change from the status quo in organizations requires resilience through uncomfortable shifts in all areas. The three panelists broke down the 6 core competencies that successful Belonging Cultures.

  1. From Monocultural to Multicultural
  2. 4 Anchors of a Multicultural Belonging Culture
  3. The Culture Palette of a Multicultural Belonging Culture
  4. 10 Ways to Respond to Racially-Fueled Events
  5. 10 Challenges of the Multicultural Leader
  6. I Hear You: Receiving Stories of Cultural Experience

To start bringing about this change, Nikki Lerner reminds organizations that restoring vulnerability and inviting external facilitators is helpful in this process. 

Beth Birmingham asked:

  • What do employees think of your culture?
  • What do your stats say?
  • Is there equity in pay and rewards?
  • Are you attracting and hiring well?
  • Who succeeds?

Organizations should start their roadmaps for change by praying, collecting data and examining bias before celebrating and rewarding change. 

To reach out to Beth, Eeva, and Nikki:

  • Beth Birmingham – bbirmingham[at]bedevelopmenmtpartners[dot]com
  • Eeva Sallinen Simard – esimard[at]bedevelopmenmtpartners[dot]com
  • Nikki Lerner – info[at]nikkilerner[dot]com