July 29, 2020

Taking Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Seriously in Your Organization, with Sara Taylor

Episode 56:

Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.

Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why companies often treat diversity, equity and inclusion work differently than they do any other aspect of the organization, and why comparisons between the ways companies approach DEI work with the way they treat other major decisions can be valuable to help highlight the disparity
  • Sara compares a CEO announcing sudden changes they want to see in their company’s DEI to a CEO announcing relocating the business to Brussels
  • Sara compares a CEO dodging bold action suggested by a DEI practitioner within the company by consulting a non-practitioner first to a CEO consulting a DEI practitioner about the company’s marketing
  • Sara provides another example of an organization forming a committee of volunteers to make DEI decisions, compared to forming a committee to revamp the organization’s finances
  • Sara compares a company who says DEI work is important but then allows employees to do whatever they want with no coordination, with allowing everyone in the organization to choose their own company retreat location individually
  • Sara compares a CEO sending a Diversity 101 video from YouTube to their DEI practitioner as if it’s new and exciting information with sending a patient care 101 video to the chief medical officer
  • Sara compares an experienced practitioner telling a new leader about the efforts they’ve been making and the leader sending them a link to an organization doing elementary work and wanting to do the same, compared to a school principal sending a 7th grade teacher the kindergarten lesson plans and asking them to do that same work with the 7th graders
  • Sara compares people suddenly interested in DEI work going to the company’s practitioner and asking why they aren’t doing anything with a teacher of another subject telling the math teachers what to teach when they have no idea what the math teachers have been teaching all along
  • Sara compares a company assigning DEI work to the HR department three levels down with a company assigning their marketing work to the operations team three levels down
  • Sara compares a CEO sending out public messages after the murder of George Floyd without consulting their DEI practitioners but instead consulting their black friend, with a governor sending out a message about the pandemic without consulting their health department but instead consulting a a podiatrist
  • Why taking this work seriously by including DEI practitioners and their expertise is the only way our companies will create solutions

Additional resources: