Newsletter – December 12, 2018

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Three equity and inclusion resolutions for managers

Hi friends,

‘Tis that time of year, when resolutions are made and gym membership counts soar. For our last newsletter of 2018, we’d like to propose a different kind of resolution for you. As more leaders are exploring meaningful ways to bring equity and inclusion to life in their organizations, we have a few simple and practical ideas to help you make progress on your EI journey.

1. When making decisions, pause and consider your choice points. Choice points (h/t to our friends at RaceForward for this important concept!) are decision-making opportunities that can influence outcomes on equity and inclusion. When used as a reflection tool, they can reveal where we might have implicit bias. When used proactively, they are opportunities to shift the status quo and help level the playing field for marginalized people in our organizations. A few areas where we see choice points crop up a lot for managers are in hiring, delegation, and goals. Here are two questions to consider BEFORE making a decision:

  1. What would my “autopilot” decision be? Would going along with “what I’ve always done” uphold a status quo that excludes those on the margins? Conversely, if I wanted to ensure equity for and inclusion of people on the margins, what options would rise to the top?
  2. On my list of people to consult, are there people whose advice or opinion I might weigh more heavily than others? Could it be because I like them more, they’re more like me, or they fit the dominant culture better?

Commitment: As busy managers, we make decisions all the time—many of them with short timeframes. Commit to using choice points to think through at least one decision per week. 

2. Audit the jobs board of your website. Review open job descriptions to check for bias. A simple check could be to replace gendered pronouns with gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they’. You could use an app like this Gender Decoder for Job Ads to check for gendered language or catch insensitive language using Alex. While you’re at it, be sure to review your job descriptions to make sure that your requirements are truly must-haves for the role, and not just sneaky auto-pilot requirements (we’re looking at you, college degrees!). You can invite your staff and/or hiring managers from other teams to do this with you.

Commitment: Make this a team activity in the first quarter of the year (or schedule it for your next big hiring push). Spend 15-30 minutes individually per job posting and 30 minutes for a debrief. 

3. Give and receive feedback during check-ins: Yes, we know it’s hard..but it gets better with practice. What better time than the new year to commit to giving feedback to your staff AND receiving feedback from them? We’ve updated our check-in template with a 2×2 feedback form that you can use to get started.

Commitment: 100% would be nice, but we understand that it doesn’t always happen. Try setting aside 10 minutes in every other check-in with each staff member for a feedback session. Remember resolution #1 on choice points? Make sure you’re doing it with every member of your teamnot just the ones you are most comfortable with.

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