A Progressive Path from Equality to Inclusivity to Diversity
Humans, as primates, possess an inherent drive to establish social hierarchies. This instinct, echoing from our ancestry with beings like the African silverbacks and squirrel monkeys, has intricately woven itself into our evolutionary tapestry. Yet, as our society and understanding have evolved, so have our aspirations. The contemporary era introduces calls for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusiveness (DEI). But is there a harmonious blend between our primal instincts and these forward-thinking ideals?
Flip the Script!!
Equality ...leads to... Inclusivity...results in... Diversity
The focus on Diversity is, in my opinion, counter intuitive AND counter productive.
We will never unite and realise our inherent equality if we keep focussing first and foremost on diversity.
"Think about the alpine skier analogy...Skiiing down a slope at speed, the skier needs to navigate through a copse of trees. The trees present a potentially destructive obstacle... To succeed, the skier is aware of the trees, but focusses on the path through the trees, not the trees themselves...for obvious reasons."
We manifest what we focus on...
To reconcile our evolutionary past with our modern aspirations, we must re-sequence the approach and the language: Equality leading to Inclusivity, culminating in Diversity (EID).
Equality: Recognizing our evolutionary roots is crucial. It's not about being bound by our instincts but about understanding them. We emphasize equality, knowing that each individual, irrespective of background, possesses intrinsic value. This foundational step acknowledges that while we have primal instincts, we can evolve beyond them to champion an equal footing for all.
Inclusivity: Stemming from equality, inclusivity is the next logical progression. It's about ensuring everyone feels they belong, being recognized and celebrated for their unique contributions. When equality is foundational, the transition to inclusivity is seamless.
Diversity: Diversity is the pinnacle of the EID approach. With a bedrock of equality and inclusivity, diversity emerges naturally. It goes beyond mere representation; it's about valuing and harnessing the varied perspectives and strengths each individual offers.
Change the language to change the behaviour
Cultivating the EID Human
For EID to resonate deeply and create lasting change, we must foster a new archetype of humanity, one that seamlessly integrates self-awareness, empathy, and adaptability.
Self-aware: The foundation of this transformation begins with self-awareness. Our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs, rooted in our values, often give rise to unconscious biases that shape perceptions of inequality. By delving deeply into these internal landscapes and confronting our biases, we can begin to neutralize their influence. This introspective journey is pivotal in ensuring we engage with others without the distortions of bias, thereby fostering genuine equality.
Empathetic: Building upon self-awareness, empathy becomes the bridge that connects our internal realizations with the external world. Beyond mere understanding, empathy is about immersing oneself in another's world, recognizing the shared tapestry of human experiences that are woven into our unique narratives. Each of us carries stories filled with challenges and triumphs. By tapping into these shared emotional threads, we transcend barriers, realizing the universality of our human experience. This deep sense of connection fosters a profound understanding and acceptance, making the ground fertile for true inclusivity.
Adaptive: With the foundation of self-awareness and the bridge of empathy in place, adaptability becomes the key to navigating the ever-changing landscapes of our world. Adaptability is not an isolated trait but is intrinsically linked to our self-awareness and empathy. An adaptive individual is not only open to change but actively seeks it, equipped with the insights derived from self-awareness and the compassion of empathy. It's about discarding outdated perspectives and embracing those that align with our evolving understanding. This trinity of self-awareness, empathy, and adaptability ensures we remain attuned to the shifting sands of time, championing the journey from equality to inclusivity and diversity.
Create the crysalis for transformation
By foregrounding equality, we can lay the foundation for inclusivity, which subsequently blossoms into authentic diversity. This is not a simple task. Organizations that invest in creating the reflective, coaching spaces for their leadership will get a head start. those that invest in creating these same opportunities and programmes for all staff will thrive.
Societies that establish these spaces for the younger generations to acknowledge our equalities, celebrate our differences inclusively and grow through the diversity that blossoms...these societies will be strong, resilient and enduring.
There is beauty and immense benefit in each step
This evolutionary journey calls for profound personal transformation. As we evolve into beings who are acutely self-aware, deeply empathetic, and inherently adaptive, we not only uphold the tenets of EID but also set the course for a world that resonates with harmony, understanding, and rich diversity.