Introducing IDEA + B – A New Way Forward for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Conversation

Introducing IDEA + B – A New Way Forward for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Conversation

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) have been important considerations in the workplace for many years. However, it’s time to move beyond this way of thinking and approach EDI from a different angle. Enter “IDEA+B”—an acronym that stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, & Belonging. 

This new framework flips the traditional viewpoint on its head and puts inclusion front and center as a core value of any business. This approach recognizes that inclusion in the workplace is the starting point to achieving greater equity, diversity of thought, accessibility, and ultimately a greater sense of belonging.

What Is IDEA+B?

IDEA+B is a new way of looking at EDI that puts inclusion first. Instead of starting with equitable systems and processes as a means to attract diversity and result in inclusion, IDEA + B starts with inclusion, leading to diversity of thought and equity. It encourages businesses to prioritize creating an inclusive environment where everyone can feel welcome and valued—regardless of their background or identity. 

Organizations can think about; how do we bring diversity of thought into everything that we do, and what does that look like?

By making inclusion a central part of their mission statement or corporate values, businesses can inspire employees to think about diversity in terms of what perspectives may be missing or underrepresented within their organization. Creating inclusion in the workplace means understanding that each person’s action or inaction influences how someone else feels. Find out more about how inclusive culture creates community here. 

IDEA + B focuses on creating systems and processes that are equitable for all groups within an organization. It emphasizes overcoming barriers that prevent individuals from feeling included, such as language barriers or inaccessible technology platforms. Small gestures such as using progressive, intentional language or recognizing other people’s cultural celebrations can go a long way in helping people feel welcome. 

Diversity and Inclusion

Finally, IDEA + B seeks to create a sense of belonging within organizations by asking questions like: “How can we create an environment where everyone feels at home?” Creating an inclusive workspace means understanding different perspectives so all voices can be heard, and everyone feels welcome and respected. Find some simple and practical steps you can take to create a more inclusive company culture here.

The Benefits Of IDEA + B

By implementing IDEA + B into your business practices, you can create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued—no matter who they are or where they come from. This will lead to increased productivity and creativity among employees since they will feel like they are part of a team. 

Additionally, organizations will become more attractive to potential hires since candidates will know that their diversity is embraced and valued as they see themselves being reflected within the establishment. Inclusive organizations are also more appealing to customers who want to align their money and values when it comes to who they give their business to. 

At Veza, we are shifting our focus to IDEA + B, drawing attention to inclusivity first, allowing a variety of voices to be heard, and then creating truly equitable systems and processes. Ultimately, this leads to more diversity in the workplace, a sense of community, and a feeling of belonging. 

This new framework will provide clarity and perspective as we continue to advocate for equity deserving groups, and help you create more equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace with a real emphasis on belonging. Find out more about how Veza can support your inclusive culture through assessments and audits here

Why you’re struggling to find balance in life

Why you’re struggling to find balance in life

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. 

We hope you’ll join us. Click here to learn more and sign up for the Connected Leadership Incubator starting this spring.

How community elevates the spirit

How community elevates the spirit

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 hello@vezacommunity.com to discuss the special and how coaching can support you.

Negotiating your salary to eliminate the need for equal pay day

Negotiating your salary to eliminate the need for equal pay day

Equal Pay Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. The exact day differs year by year (Conflicting dates as to what the actual day is in Canada as it may be April 2 or April 9th).

In most cases, men have four months on most women in terms of earnings. Over the lifetime, men will make over $400,000 more than women due to the lack of equal pay.

One way that you can help combat this trend and help make the need for Equal Pay Day obsolete is to advocate for your own salary/raise.

Here are a few tips on negotiating salaries:

  1. Research what is market value for your experience, expertise and your role. Glassdoor and Payscale are great places to do this research.
  2. When asking for a raise, showcase your achievements and have concrete examples of how you supported reaching the organizational goals (so be very aware of what are the organization’s goals). Constantly ensure that your role is alignment with the organizational goals so that it:
    • Keeps you valuable to the company
    • Allows you to feel you are contributing
    • Shows value for your position
    • Allows you to use it as leverage.
  3. Be confident when asking. This is the most important piece. You need to believe your own worth. You need to have a strong voice that has conviction in it. You need to believe you deserve. Practice in the mirror what the conversation would be. Notice if you look away or continue to look at yourself as you ask for the raise. Does your body language showcase confidence or do you shy away and change your body position? Does your voice have the same tone, volume and power throughout the conversation or do you falter when you mention money?

Do this exercise multiple times and then journal what is your experience each time. This will allow you to uncover how you are showcasing your worth and deservability on a regular basis as well it allows you to be prepared for the conversation.

  1. Talk to a mentor or coach who can guide you through the conversation. It is always helpful to have a third party act as a soundboard, give pointers and a coach can take you through a role play.

Historically, we know women tend to negotiate less and accept what they are given – so it is time to negotiate once and do it well. Your voice and your confidence in your own abilities will help fix this disparity. Do you have any additional tips to add? Tell us about them in the comments.

Collaboration and sisterhood heightens our personal development

Collaboration and sisterhood heightens our personal development

I knew the power of collaboration and sisterhood but this weekend I saw it again.

I am reveling in the energy of the weekend where I was blessed to teach Akashic Records Level 3 to group of women who dove in deep into the trenches of their own souls so they can further uncover their light and be more of a contribution to this world.

It was powerful to see the transformation that occurs when we truly see each other, hear each other and are present to other people’s experiences. 

Reflecting on this weekend, I noticed how much many of us spend time trying to control the experiences of others, trying to prove that we are lovable and trying to prove that we are worthy of love but really the magic is in just BE-ing.

I never noticed the magic of just BE-ing and pure love for me just being me until I spent more time with my nephews and nieces. I realized I love spending time with them because they love me for just me. I don’t have to give them anything, be anything or do anything. I just need to show up, be present and see/hear them.

The same that these women experienced this weekend with each other.

At the root of it all, all of us just want others to be present to our love for them. We want others to see themselves as we see them. We want others to just BE themselves as it gives us permission to be ourselves.

This isn’t just with personal relationships. This is the same at work as well. Each person in your organization wants to be seen and heard so they know their contribution is valued and appreciated. When that is done, magic happens. They perform better. They contribute even more AND they stay engaged with the goals of the company. That person is you who wants to be seen and heard and is in the place to see and hear others so they feel that magic that you want to feel.

As leaders, contributors to organizations and contributors to society, it is your role to BE so you can give permission for others to be.

It is your role to see and hear others so you can be seen and heard as well.

It is your role to build a community of collaboration and sisterhood/brotherhood around you, so you feel that you are fully empowered, you are fully present with your strengths and you are BEing the best version of yourself as you experience love for being just who you are.

The weekend with these wonderful women reminded me the power of mastermind, collaboration and support that we are call for and desire.

I know in my role as a connector that is the work I am hear to do. Connect others through creating community of like-minded women.

This is why the group programs that are offered through Veza are SO important as they allow women to see and hear each other especially when their hearts are raw and they feel ever so vulnerable.

It is time for you to BE, BE seen and BE heard. It is time for you to be you and know you will be loved.