"We don't know what we don't know."
If you did not grow up thinking about diversity and inclusion, it may not be your first or even second thought in the workplace. As a diversity and inclusion (D&I) practitioner and researcher with nearly 15 years of experience, I’ve learned that most people have good intentions and want to be inclusive and make equitable decisions. The disconnect comes from a lack of awareness of the issues needing to be addressed, and the practice of addressing them. From our hiring, to promotions to micro aggressions that may happen during the day with our colleagues, we don’t know what we don’t know.
For me, this work is not about being perfect, but making progress in how we treat people that look or think differently than we do. I am constantly mindful of these tips:
- We’ve all done it. Every single one of us has, intentionally or not, been complicit in “othering” people who are not like us. Accepting that is an important step toward personal and organizational growth.
- Always more to learn. Whether you have a friend or family member from a marginalized group, you’ve listened to a podcast about diversity, or you’ve attended several diversity and inclusion trainings, there is still more to learn and areas where you can grow in how you engage with others.
- Apologize and grow. If it has been brought to your attention that you have caused harm to another person, even if it was not your INTENT, acknowledge the IMPACT, apologize and try not to do that action again.
- Be intentional. Diversity and inclusion never happen without intention. Personal, departmental and organizational practices must be put in place in order to achieve our goals.
I am excited about how we will impact Dollar Bank's culture and our local communities for years to come.
Paul David Spradley, Ed.D.
Head of Diversity and Inclusion