You might be new to the working world, or have just had enough of looking around and seeing no diversity in your office. It is possible that you are a minority member of the community or in the total majority. You want to act and make a change in your workspace but you just do not know how. And that is okay, that is why we turn to the experts.
The Mentor Method wants to foster a new generation of dedicated, professional, diverse next level warriors who will fight to make diversity and inclusion (D&I) part of their daily lives. That is why The Mentor Method interviewed college and diversity expert, Adrienne Alberts. She will walk you through what D&I is, how it can be implemented, and what you can do to create a forward thinking workplace, along with how to be a better employee overall.
Tip #1: “It is good to be inquisitive.”
Wondering, asking, and learning is the cycle that will help you develop your power and become more successful at your trade. With this power will come the ability to make change. Read more on this here.
Tip #2: “Work hard and be intentional about building relationships, doing solid work, and being open to opportunities.”
This will allow you to grow your network and bring new people in, and increase diversity because you are bringing yourself and others up!
Tip #3: “Growth happens in discomfort and each role I have taken pushed me beyond my comfort zone.”
This may mean having an uncomfortable conversation with your boss or adding extra work onto your load by joining D&I initiatives, but that is when you will learn.
Tip #4: “Mentorship helped me avoid pitfalls but more importantly, it helped me take risks I might not have been willing to take if I didn't have the support and encouragement of my mentors.”
Get a mentor. They will help you get through all of the hard parts of your journey.
Tip #5: “Do not be afraid to do anything. There isn't an obstacle that I couldn't overcome, so confidently follow your dreams.”
This most definitely applies to every aspect of life. However, it is especially insightful for thinking about what you can do to help increase diversity in the workplace.
Tip #6: “Travel the world and be exposed to other experiences. Every opportunity to broaden your perspective will simply enrich your life and the lives of those around you.”
Diversity means including people of all backgrounds, so travel! You will get to see and experience unique and special places while keeping the ideas of D&I in your mind and brainstorming how to apply them in the office.
Tip #7: “Make sure individuals have ample access and exposure to the type of experiences that will get them employed (internships, classes, projects, hack-a-thons) in the STEM field because once they get to the point where they are engaging from a recruitment perspective their experience and skill is what is going to lead.”
Experience, experience, experience. What more can be said?
Tip #8: “Young professionals can ask questions, participate in affinity groups and organizational conversations about diversity, inclusion, and culture.”
Just because you’re young or new to the company does not mean that you can’t make a change. Help facilitate and foster these dynamics in your workplace by asking questions.
Tip #9: “Share openings in your company with your networks.”
Allowing a person who would not normally be able to hear about these events into the conversation and application process gives them an opening.
Tip #10: “Practice inclusion! Be thoughtful about how your engage with and treat each other. When you actively work to create a space that is respective of all those involved it can have a viral effect.”
(And a bonus tip for employers and higher ups)
Tip #11: “Invest in the development of the talent pipeline. That way, by the time hires are primed for leadership and job opportunities, they have had the access to these experiences. Then it is solely predicated on their ability to showcase their skill.”
This why projects that allow those who would not have access to the skills required for a job are so important. For example, The WDCEP Pathways Scholarship is a program where people working physical jobs are taught technical skills so that they can join the tech world and increase their income and job satisfaction. The Mentor Method works with them to teach the trainees professional soft skills development. Look for projects like this in your community and aid those who want to be taught.
Thank you, Adrienne, for all of the helpful advice and the motivating conversation. To keep up or connect with Adrienne, check out her Linkedin.