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Conversation and Inclusive Cultures

Joe Gerstandt is hopeful. An expert on inclusion, Joe had written a post expressing his excitement at signs that leaders, workplaces and communities were ready to put greater momentum behind issues of inclusion and diversity. Coinciding with Joe’s post was a segment on NPR about Intel, which just published its annual report regarding its progress towards a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Contrasting Intel’s disclosure with the opacity of the rest of the technology industry’s diversity data is, as NPR’s piece notes, a “direct challenge to other Silicon Valley giants.” The comment that caught my eye was that once talented people have been recruited, they are not always being nurtured. The explicit efforts on the part of Intel to attract diverse talent are yet, it appears, to be matched by a diligence in creating an inclusive culture. An African-American vice president at Intel suggested, according to NPR’s piece, “The casual conversations that lead to promotions and coaching don’t happen because the relationships just aren’t there.”

Manifesting and nourishing a cultural environment where relationships can flourish is essential for an inclusive ethos to become the norm. This demands intentionality in supporting a pro-conversation landscape within and throughout the organization.

Does conversation support your culture? How does it contribute to an inclusive environment?

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