Did That Just Happen?!: Beyond “Diversity”―Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations
Armed with their experience of leading equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at Harvard Medical School, Drs. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Lauren Wadsworth have written a book about the dynamics of increasingly diverse teams. Through real-life anecdotes, they show how harmful behavior in the workplace––even when unintentional––causes unnecessary conflict and burnout among people with rising identities, for example, women, Black people, and employees who identify with the LGBTQ community. The advice shared reflects the authors’ skills in leading the diversity function at an academic health center and starting their own diversity and inclusion consultancy.
Each chapter begins with real-life stories, some from the authors’ own experiences. The factual exposition of a conflict-laden workplace situation is followed by a thorough discussion of why the behavior is problematic and what to do about it. To be anti-racist requires skill and practice, being able to notice the subtleties of workplace interactions and name the racist behavior. The case-study approach works well in helping readers understand the mechanics of identity-related aggressions or microaggressions. I appreciated how the authors introduced new vocabulary to improve upon the current language used in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
While the book shares practical advice for changing one’s approach to communication and learning about the impacts of one’s behavior in the workplace, the advice may seem familiar to practitioners. Its primary differentiator is storytelling through real-life anecdotes that help to reinforce the need for intentional efforts to promote cultural humility and awareness in the workplace.
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