In the newest episode of Wallet Watch, the hosts reflect on their season surrounding the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We discuss what we learned from the interviews and consider how this relates to one of the Credit Union’s core values: encourage, embrace, and drive change. During our conversation, we explore how authenticity, sharing viewpoints in brave spaces, and having mutual respect are all necessary to be an effective change agent.
As the hosts dissect the idea of authenticity in the workplace, we come to the realization that it is not only employees who can benefit from being open, honest, and vulnerable. With a growing number of workers being concerned with DEI policies, practices, and procedures, companies are evolving. Job applicants are now more selective than ever as they consider positions with multiple organizations.
I point out that, “A great question to ask if you’re interviewing for a job is ‘How have your company policies evolved or changed over the years?’ See what they say and reflect on that if one of those [changes] does involve DEI because again, [the world is] constantly evolving and we need to grow with it. If they are not also growing in that facet, then it is leaving groups out of the conversation.” I go on to explain that workplaces who are willing to be vulnerable and are open to feedback from all employees will be the ones that are successful as they prioritize a positive work environment.
While being authentic and having conversations in brave spaces can combat ignorance, it is also inevitable that we may occasionally offend someone we are attempting to support. Amanda reflects on our Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion episode, reminding us that this is a part of the DEI journey. “There has to be a space for mistakes to happen because a lot of growth comes from those mistakes. And not looking down on someone who makes that mistake, [but instead] letting them have that time and space for them to be able to grow, understand, and be open-minded.”
Being an effective change agent requires grace, but even when it is present, not everyone is as accepting of others’ thoughts, opinions, or life choices. DaVante discusses why respect should be at the forefront of all of our tough conversations. “You don’t always have to understand it, but choose to respect it. Why do you feel it is something you have to wrap your mind around? And if you have questions, then ask those questions and be willing to listen. I think listening is a super important piece of understanding differences. Be willing to listen and have an open conversation, and to allow [others’] experiences, new education, and learning to penetrate your heart.”
To hear more of our takeaways from the season and suggestions for those hoping to begin their journey as change agents, listen to the full episode by going to Spotify, Podbean, or Apple Podcast.
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