What does support for Internal EDIB Committees look like?
In our experience in working with internal EDIB Committees, we do see the 5 stages of team development:
The team usually requires facilitation at the beginning of the EDIB journey for the organization to balance the priorities of individual passions with the organizational mandate/mission.
We usually find that the EDIB committee requires the support of senior leadership to tackle any roadblocks and budget issues. It always helps if senior leadership attends the first few meetings to address frustrations, challenges and provide direction.
The individuals on the committee may volunteer their time, and are often from equity-deserving groups. Veza recommends inviting all who want to be on the committee to join for diversity of thought as well as finding ways to compensate them for their time through monetary means, professional development or time off.
The EDIB committee needs opportunities to have discussions with leadership in order to remain in alignment with the organizational strategy.
The committee is meant to support any EDIB staff, whereas the EDIB staff may work with this committee for advice and deliverables as seen fit.
It is important that this committee be grounded in change management and change communication in order to be successful in their endeavours.
All these supports will empower the individuals on the committee to make the impact they strive to make.
Leadership has really changed in the last few years. We are expecting leaders to lead with more self awareness of their actions, understand the feelings of their staff while addressing social issues that are impacting their team members, manage a pandemic and business changes. In conversations with the leadership population of our clients through EDIB consulting work or inclusive leadership coaching, we find that these leaders are navigating a new way of being. This new way is one of deeper vulnerability, authenticity and transparency.
These leaders are trying to understand how these feminine leadership traits balance with the masculine leadership traits of targets and bottom line that they grew up with. They are navigating their own traumas while supporting their team members in balancing the pressures of societal issues and the pandemic.
Many of the leaders have shared that being vulnerable in the workplace has been quite terrifying, as they fear that staff members may lose confidence in their leadership. However, the beautiful occurrence time and time again is when leaders combine authenticity with vulnerability: staff members for the most part welcome the heart-felt engagement. There are a select few who will judge or lose confidence however they usually are not a culture add for the organization so they self-select themselves out.
As per the Merriam-webster definitions:
Vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Authenticity is being true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
The beauty of being vulnerable and authentic is people see what they can trust within an individual. They become aware of false personas that are hindering connection. The connection at this level is what supports the creation of inclusive teams and inclusive culture. It is therefore important to become comfortable with one’s own truth, past and bias in order to truly be an inclusive leader.
Through Veza’s advisory and inclusive leadership coaching, we work with leaders to address these uncomfortable situations with a little more ease and grace. The beauty of discomfort is there is always room for growth.
Our current socio-political climate has shined a glaring light on the necessity for large scale change across organizations of any size when it comes to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Most companies however, face the same issue they always have when working with qualitative features of social systems.
How do you make things tangible?
When implementing change in an organization, it can be hard to find a starting point, especially when it comes to tackling social systems in the workplace. However, being able to add tangible value to these concerns can make for a good start. Ways to make EDI tangible is using metrics to quantify the levels of engagement in EDI in the organization. Using metrics will help you find a starting point in your organization’s journey and will help your managers stear in the right direction. The best part of using metrics is that they can be used across all of your organization’s departments and can act as a benchmark for your EDI journey.
How do you justify the time, effort and investment in ways that make business sense?
Organizations are always going to ask themselves “Is this even worth it.” The answer is yes. Diverse companies make better decisions 87% of the time, are 35% more likely to have above average profits, are more productive, innovative and attractive to investors and customers. Employees of diverse backgrounds and abilities can reduce risk by 30% while improving innovation by 20%. Implementing diverse practices makes business sense. Having EDI fosters more creativity to help with problem solving and can ultimately improve an organization’s bottom line through breakthrough innovations. Not only can it improve your organization’s productivity, it can also impact the overall culture in a positive way that makes your employees feel safe and included to share their perspectives.
Organizations have always had trouble dealing with these questions even in a broader people sense, now including new budget items around EDI need to be justified and warranted.
This is why industry leaders today put an increasing emphasis on measuring, analyzing and implementing a data-driven, quantifiable approach to EDI, giving it the same level of analytical thought as other technology-heavy functions like finance and supply chain.
The problem here is the difficulty in accurately and meaningfully quantifying these unique, ambiguous and subjective features that set EDI apart from most other functions. Most small and medium enterprises that lack the technology, systems and data aren’t even sure of where to begin. Hopefully, this article will help with that first step.
EDI metrics can be broadly classified into 3 categories – Diagnostic, Tracking and Prediction.
Diagnostic metrics are the most fundamental ones that directly determine the success of the other categories. These parameters help explore, quantify and shine a light on the potential focus areas for interventions. Some are common across most organizations, such as:
Employee engagement and retention metrics
Hiring and recruitment pipeline metrics
Compa ratios and benefits
Standardized exit interview data
Others would be more specific to each organization based on its location or industry. For example, language might be an important diversity metric in European offices, while race and ethnicity might be more crucial in North America. The purpose of these metrics is to provide a blueprint and starting point for your organization, the data of which can then be used to start asking the right questions.
Once these questions have been asked, Tracking metrics come into play. How do you know whether your questions are accurate and what is your frame of reference? What are the standards to which you hold each parameter? Benchmarking plays a key role in this stage to provide each organization with the context and guidance it needs. When interventions are decided based on your diagnostic metrics, tracking parameters would include measures like participation rates in training programs, membership rates in ERGs and mentorship groups, and employee feedback data. These metrics will help steer the course of your interventions and adapt them to best suit your organization’s needs. Having a benchmark allows your managers to have a starting point in the EDI journey.
The final and most challenging category is prediction metrics. These can be thought of as return on investment, but aren’t simply limited to financial returns. In order to understand how well your interventions are doing, you must most often draw insights against time. Trends across months or years help provide a bird’s eye view of the progress being made by the organization and in turn help predict the most probable outcome. These predictions can be as simple as a regression line that predicts the re-hire budget saved through diversity retention, or as intricate as complex supervised learning models that predict which employees are at a risk of getting disengaged. A major variable to keep in mind here is that ethics and moral decision-making must always trump the ever increasing need for more accurate information.
When starting or continuing your organization’s EDI journey, finding that starting point can be the most challenging and daunting part. This is where Veza helps. Veza and its team of EDI experts will help guide your organization through its EDI journey through our Assessment. The Assessment gives your organization the necessary metrics on all aspects of the business to ensure that your EDI journey is measured. Our Maturity Model is used to gauge where your organization is on its diversity journey. The model helps identify the level of investment the organization is making to attract and retain underrepresented groups as employees, suppliers, or customers.
To get a snapshot of how your organization is doing for inclusivity, Veza offers a free Self Assessment. This free Self Assessment will give your organization an insight of areas for improvement in its EDI journey. However, if after taking the free Self Assessment is leaving you wanting more, you can take the plunge into Veza’s Full Assessment.
We’re asked to put our lives into silos. Create separation between work life and home life. Between our bodies and minds. Between our hobbies and our careers. Even within our very personalities.
Boundaries are incredibly important, but this is different. You set boundaries for yourself based on what gives you the most peace of mind.
Silos form when we try to mold ourselves to fit society’s expectations. We can’t for one second believe that stress or conflict at home doesn’t affect our work performance or vice versa. Besides, trying to maintain these separations leaves many of us feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. The silo approach doesn’t recognize that individuals live full, whole lives that need to be nurtured to have healthy, productive, well-adjusted people thriving in our society.
At Veza, we reject the idea that our lives can be chopped up into discrete parts.
We know that we all carry with us at least some trauma or insecurities from our childhoods – whether that was a bad home situation, trying hard to please our parents, or being excluded/teased at school. We have internalized ideas from our cultures about what our lives should look like. We have to heal these aspects of ourselves, because even when we think we’ve moved on, those beliefs (i.e.: inadequacy, feeling unlovable) still linger under the surface. Rising up when we are under stress or get triggered. Influencing our decisions at a subconscious level. Influencing whether we believe we belong at the table and whether we have anything meaningful to say or contribute at all.
We see the greatest success when our lives are balanced. When we care for our bodies and spirits, we are more creative and focused. When our relationships are strong and healthy, we feel more supported and confident. When we turn our passions into careers, we feel engaged and fulfilled.
The point is: all aspects of our lives are connected. The leaders who have the most impact and seem to be going at it effortlessly have often managed to integrate all aspects of themselves. They have built careers that allow them to operate in their strengths and are based on what they truly believe and care about. They prioritize time for themselves that keeps them functioning well, whether that’s a meditation practice, making art, or exercise.
We’ve created a framework for this process that we’re using in our upcoming Connected Leadership Incubator. Over 6 months, we will look at 6 pillars of leadership – the first 3 focused on our internal selves, the next 3 focused on how we connect out in the world. The goal is to unlock not just your potential, but you as a person.
The program is offered entirely online with an in-person leadership retreat at the end. We will have online lessons you do on your own time, one-on-one coaching, and group calls every two weeks. By joining in on the mastermind coaching calls, we see how much our journeys overlap with others’. We get to supercharge our own growth by learning from each other’s wins and challenges, while building a deeper sense of community and support.
Throughout the ages, it has been said that it takes a community to raise a child. This quote really resonated with me in the past few months as I realized that as community gathers and fulfills the needs of any home, it is quite easy to get things done and move forward. I believe it is the same for reaching any major life goals.
A few years ago, I had the experience of having over a hundred people in my home and not knowing who was bringing groceries, what was being served for dinner, who would clean the house… essentially, how everything would get done! Of course, there were a few key individuals who stood out as people I could rely on – they would either be the first ones to arrive or the last ones to leave, but there were many helping hands. Enough to pull everything off.
It was interesting in watching everyone’s reactions and emotions, as individuals took responsibility for typical gender specific roles. The women were in the kitchen and cleaning, while the men were running errands, taking the garbage out, or setting up furniture. I wondered if this was happening as people were so emotional that they were going to their “trained” mannerisms: Did they do this because as a society we expect that these are the roles that will be fulfilled or this is where they felt comfortable? All I knew was that a core group of people helped out regardless of what it was.
Many people were approaching me asking what they could do to help, how could they support me “right now” or plainly asking “What do you need?” I realized I hear these questions on a daily basis, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized how much community really meant to me, how much support we really do need on a day-to-day basis, and that I don’t have to do it all alone. The exact same way, a child is raised by the parents, grandparents, teachers, relatives, etc. The parents never do it on their own. They always have support along the way. Somehow, we unlearn these lessons from our childhoods and try to do and be everything alone. I’m blessed every time I have these moments where I remember that it takes a village and that I have a village behind me.
These realizations are a simple way of life for some, but for me, they showed me that I love the sense of community. Further, I realized I can open myself to receive the support that others are willing to provide me. I can accept the help, love, and support of others with gratitude. The support is part of the core essence we all share. We all want to have a sense of belonging, a sense of being needed, and a sense of helping others.
So I raise the following questions: Where can you allow in more support? What do you need to do or be in order to build a greater sense of community for yourself?
Honestly, from experience, I can tell you that the sense of community will elevate your spirit in the most positive way. You will have a greater sense of love for yourself as you allow in the love from others. We grow from each others’ energy and nurturing.
Looking to add more support and community to your life as 2019 comes to a close? Until December 7th, we have an end of 2019 coaching special. Come in for one session to create a vision for your next year! Email us at email@example.com to discuss the special and how coaching can support you.
I have a love/hate relationship with the coaching industry and coaching in general. Having been a coach for over ten years and been coached over eleven years, I have seen the impact first hand of what coaching can do for you.
My gripes came in when the industry took a turn where it fed on the fears and insecurities of individuals rather than focusing on their strengths and potential for growth.
We saw that the industry was constantly telling people how they were somehow “wrong” if they didn’t easily make 6 figures (without talking about the amount of work and back end is takes to make that happen), living the laptop lifestyle (again having a marketable skill, automation, support and delegation are an important part of the success of this lifestyle) and everything that was “wrong” with you was based on energy, feelings, and belief systems.
I fell into it too. I went through a phase of trying to fix myself because I felt that I wasn’t good enough. I was reading all the marketing that was constantly telling me that in order to make me buy solutions so I wouldn’t feel that way. I worked with experienced coaches and newbies – I let all these people into my energy and my consciousness. I would get off a coaching call, feeling a little less like myself since I had taken on the energy of yet another person who was trying to get in my head. Who wanted to frame what I needed to solve in myself and why I needed to work with them.
The kicker really came to me in January this year, when I finally figured out the real reason why I would feel overwhelmed or feel a little depressed. It wasn’t because I didn’t believe in myself, there was something wrong with me, or that past trauma was impacting me. It was because I had side effects from concussions that I didn’t realize were impacting me. My brain would become overstimulated in crowds, computer screens made me exhausted and unable to function, and fluorescent lights were energy suckers for me.
It was a sigh of relief knowing this was a concussion issue. What angered me was that I had invested heavily in the coaching industry thinking I had to fix something within myself when in reality, it was a physical challenge from past injuries.
What happened after is where the magic was. As I recovered from the concussions, I became more discerning about where I needed growth and where I needed compassion. I also became more discerning about what type of coaching I needed, what type of support I needed.
Do I regret all that I invested in coaching? No, not at all. It taught me who I really am at the core. It taught me to recognize what resonates and what doesn’t. And most importantly, it taught me how to trust myself. Yes, I could have invested a lot less and made fewer mistakes, but I have compassion for myself because in the end of it all, I gained so much as a person.
The coaching industry has flaws, but there is a real place for it as well. If I hadn’t wanted to grow into the person I am today, I wouldn’t have invested in myself. I strengthened my leadership skills, increased my productivity, learned to work smarter rather than harder, understanding my strengths and weaknesses, I learned to ask for help with more ease, trust others more when I have delegated, I also learned when I needed to leave a situation and know how to assess when to enter a new one.
Coaching is something I believe in strongly. I recommend everyone have a coach on a retainer that they can bounce ideas off, use as a soundboard, be accountable to, and who creates a container to allow your growth. Sometimes (most times), it is best to have someone outside of your normal day-to-day life provide the insights and shed light on your blindspots.
When choosing a coach, I recommend becoming clear on what your goal with coaching is. Then seek recommendations for coaches from people you trust. Know for yourself what is important for your own transformation- if they use tools, worksheets, emotional intelligence tests, etc. You may not know their tool in and out, but asking about their methods should be a part of the interview process. I encourage you to try interviewing a few coaches to find a fit of style of coaching.
Here are some key questions to ask when interviewing your prospective coaches:
What type of people have you worked with before?
What type of success have your past clients had?
Where did you learn coaching techniques? (I strongly recommend engaging someone who has gone through a coaching program and has a coaching certificate. The ICF (International Coaches Certification) is great as well, but not all great coaches have it. Usually corporates, not individuals, are the ones that look for the ICF certification).
What was their background before coaching? (The industry is unregulated, therefore it is important for you that they bring relevant experience and education.)
What are their fees? (Remember that you are paying for their education, experience, skills, and talent over the years, so their coaching fees should reflect that experience.)
Everyone can benefit from coaching at different points in their career, but as it is a significant investment in yourself, make sure you find someone you want to work with and who you feel can provide the support you need!
If you are considering pursuing coaching with Veza Community, schedule your complimentary coaching consult today! We’d be happy to answer the above questions and anything else you might be curious about.