In this episode we delve into the great work Katie is doing with organizations to create and implement diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) plans, focusing on companies that truly care about these issues.
At Social Construct Consulting, her effort is not in convincing people that DE&I is important. She is not breaking down the doors of white CEOs demanding they give up their seat. Her work focuses on companies that want to do better in these areas, who recognize they will be better for it because it helps their employees do better at work, enjoy their work, and will create a safer and more comfortable place for more people at work.
She aims to make things better for everybody, but it will take everybody.
Making equity benefit the already widely benefitted?
How do we convince the people who already have the power and privilege that improved diversity, equity and inclusion are good things for them and their businesses?
That question was asked to Katie Zink, Founder of Social Construct Consulting, during the latest episode of the Business Over Beer Podcast by Co-Host Jonathan Kaylor.
The question is a reasonable one when you think about all the calls to give more people of color, women, LBGTQ, and other underrepresented groups a “seat at the table”. The underlying issue, as Jonathan noted in the episode, is that those in a position to give up these seats are not interested in relinquishing any of their power or privilege because they do not see any benefit for themselves.
Katie calmly responded, so you’re asking, “how do we make equity benefit the already widely benefitted?”
Instantly, Jonathan realized that he had asked the wrong question. And more importantly, his mindset and the questions he had been asking himself, too, about how to advocate for equity, were also wrong.
We should not be looking to make a business case for DE&I, trying to measure how it will improve the bottom line. As Katie explains, there is no silver bullet solution, and those who do not understand why this is important for companies, probably just don’t care. Even the word “inclusion” is being interrogated because it centers around dominant culture as well. Someone has to do the including, right?
One reason so many diversity initiatives fail at companies is because the focus is on hiring underrepresented groups into the existing culture. The only way to address the root cause is to first change the culture, to build a new table, and create a collectivist mindset.
Yes collectivism challenges the people who have that power who don’t want to give it to anybody. Yes, collectivism requires a relinquishing of power. Yes, collectivism is counter to our current crony capitalist system. No collectivism is not socialism or communism.
A collective culture is everyone’s job and the purpose is to serve a collective organization, not just certain individuals and real change will not happen by trying to convince the one percenters.
This becomes a grass roots initiative, with real entrepreneurs and small business owners, who understand the gap and want change. This is what entrepreneurs do, they pioneer new spaces, new thoughts, and don’t wait to be invited to someone else’s table. Small business owners must feel empowered to advocate for change, and know that we do have all the power with a collectivist mindset.
“Brown-colored porter falling into a dark ruby. The foam is very durable, the smell is clearly caramel. The taste is dominated by burnt caramel with a noticeable and moderate bitterness and sweetness.”