Some people feel that the topic of race and diversity is discussed too much, and that there’s simply nothing left to talk about, but that isn’t the case. In fact, as we all continue to evolve, learn more about each other, and learn more about ourselves, it becomes even more necessary to have open dialogue about these issues.
When it comes to talking about race in the workplace, people often like to use the phrase ‘I don’t see colour’, and while that sentiment comes from a well meaning place, not seeing colour is not the answer. Some may think that by not talking about it, we don’t empower it, and therefore, we can all forget racism ever existed. But it’s not that easy. In fact, that sentiment often undermines the daily experiences of minorities by suggesting that there is no problem to address. But while things are getting better day by day, minorities still experience discrimination in and out of the workplace.
So what do we need to do? We need to keep talking! One of the biggest things that discourage people from having open dialogue about diversity is fear of saying the wrong thing or fear of offending someone. But this just leads to silence around the issue.
It’s important to remember that no one is perfect and we all have biases. The goal is to grow, and we can only do that by talking, listening to one another and staying open-minded. Here’s what happens when we have honest conversations about race and diversity in the workplace.
1. People feel heard
When minorities feel that they can speak openly about their experiences without being criticized, blamed, or belittled, this creates an environment of trust, and gives everyone equal opportunity to thrive.
2. People feel safe
The workplace needs to be a safe environment for everyone, but that’s often not the case for minorities. When people know that they can speak candidly about their experiences and concerns, it once again encourages trust and feelings of safety.
3. People learn
Having an open, honest, and respectful conversation with a friend can be an excellent form of education. When we’re all willing to open up and have real conversations with one another, it means we can all learn from each other, grow, and walk away better people.
There are countless reasons why diversity enriches the workplace, and If we don’t encourage honest conversations, we won’t be able to continuously grow diversity in the workplace. At Teamsters 987, equality and fair treatment is our number one priority, and we work tirelessly to see that our members are protected. Want to find out how we can protect you? Get in touch with us