Time's Up! Step 2 - How to get involved to address a culture of harassment, discrimination, and exclusion


As the public debate continues to build beyond the “Me too” and the “Times up” campaigns, I’ve noticed a lot of people wondering how they can actually make a difference, and move beyond good intentions to help drive real culture change.

The good news is employers can make real change happen – and quickly! I’ve seen the difference leaders can make if they prioritise workplace inclusion and diversity as part of how they do business. I have also seen that every team member needs to sign up to support the culture journey – and when everyone gets on board change happens quickly!

What excites me is that I am seeing more and more organisations asking what else they need to do to set their people up for success. They’re looking to ensure leaders are not walking on eggshells in managing D & I issues, that all staff understand where the line of acceptable behaviour is, and ensuring everyone feels safe to speak up to help shift workplace culture.

Last week, I shared the first step to address your workplace culture -  to notice and identify bias, harassment, discrimination, and exclusion when you see it. Today I'm going to discuss Step 2.

How can you help achieve culture change? What can you do to help create a great place to work where everyone can thrive and do their best work?

The solution is to Get Involved:

1.       Change only happens when people care.

Don’t leave it to others to fix issues. In my workshop experience every employee wants to work in a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace, and everyone has a role to play. Leaders are vital in setting the tone, however each of us also has an important role in supporting and speaking up for deep-seated, successful change to occur.

2.       Reflect on your culture “shadow” and lead by example

Think about what you’re saying and doing, and the behaviours you’re allowing and condoning - both within your team and more broadly across your work social networks.

3.       Live the belief that “Everyone is deserving of respect, support and compassion.”

Inclusive leader Professor Tom Welton shared at a SAGE workshop last year how everyone in his Department signed up to help achieve gender equality and inclusion through living this mantra. As well as creating a great to place to work for everyone, and becoming a talent magnet for chemists across the world, the Department increased its research income by 50%.

4.       Notice and support individuals who may feel negatively impacted by unacceptable or                       exclusionary behaviour.

Have a coffee or a conversation to check in on how they are feeling, explore whether they would like to take action and include them.

5.       Be the change you want to see.

The evidence is clear from the past 30 years. Individuals alone can’t fix culture. Culture change happens much faster when a group of like-minded people speak up demanding change, and then get involved to help drive the change.

In next week’s blog, I will share how everyone can work together and take action to improve workplace culture. If you want to make real change happen in your own workplace in 2018, get in touch today!

Image from NBC News

Fiona KrautilComment