The D word: How to stop worrying and start communicating about inclusion, diversity & equity


Is 2021 the year we finally start getting inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) right?  In a time of overt racism in the U.S. Capitol building and the firing of KPMG’s U.K. leader for calling unconscious bias “complete crap” are we finally ready to start getting ID&E right?

Michael Kaneva, Chief Diversity Officer at Export Development Canada joins us on The Swear Jar to work through why we’re so afraid to confront the ugly truths that underpin the need for ID&E programs in organizations. 

The business case is pretty clear — diverse organizations outperform their peers, particularly when executive teams are diverse and this is the year, perhaps, where business imperative meets moral imperative but as Michael reminds us, it’s not “plug, play and walk away”. We can’t flip a switch to make our organizations suddenly more inclusive. We need trust and respect to get things moving.

But for Fearless Communicators, the whole ID&E thing feels like a giant minefield full of personal and organizational risk. What if we use the wrong words? What if we need to admit that our organization has been less than stellar? How do we arm our executives to shift the narrative from the careful, mostly meaningless support noises to a conversation that confronts unpleasant realities?

Key Topics

  • Understanding equity (4:30)
  • Inclusion is not a checkbox (8:36)
  • What are we so afraid of?  (10:25)
  • Getting pas the scary (15:45)
  • Confronting barriers (20:20)
  • Communication success factors (19:40)
  • What communications teams should be doing now (24:30)
  • How EDC approached its ID&E strategy (27:50)
  • What success looks like (29:42)
  • What we’re liking (35:00)

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