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Making Inclusion Part of Your Continuing Professional Development

This was originally posted on my Seven Figure Consultant LinkedIn Newsletter. Subscribe today to get insights about how women are building powerful and impactful consulting businesses.

How comfortable are you with getting uncomfortable? Do you shy away from topics and conversations you aren’t familiar with, or do you see them as an opportunity to find out about something new?

We don’t like to be wrong. We don’t like not knowing, or not understanding. But sometimes, we need to have humility and be willing to engage messily in issues where we are not so sure of ourselves.

I was fortunate to have studied for my History undergraduate degree at a time when our department had just started to offer modules on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. And I was able to deepen this study at Masters level specialising in Gender History. For me, engaging with issues of gender and race was a real eye-opener. I’m not the same person I was before my studies in this area, and as hard as these discussions are to have, I can only see it as a good thing that issues around race, diversity, equity and inclusion are starting to be discussed in the business world.

These difficult issues about gender and race intersect. They can get very messy. I learned about the difference between equity and equality quite recently. We are a long way off equality as women but we can do things to create equity, to make businesses and other environments places where people are welcome and have opportunities, regardless of their background and what might be happening in other areas of their lives.

Access to resources, our support networks, our health, and our socio-economic status can all be areas where some of us experience privilege and others find life is more difficult. So, what can you offer people to help them through a door you can open easily?

We all assume for a lot of our lives that what we are experiencing is ‘normal’, but it’s only the norm for us. With privilege, and we can be frank and call it white privilege, we can be uninformed about what it means to not have the upbringing that a white person has had. It’s something we have to be shown, or we have to start seeing. That can be enlightening, it can be powerful, and it can be uncomfortable.

But fortunately, there are more resources available to us than we have ever had previously – we can all read, listen and watch to educate ourselves in a way that just wasn’t possible 10 years ago.

So don’t just content yourself with reading one article or listening to one podcast episode, make it part of your own continuous professional development. It’s a great time to get curious about this and move forward in your journey, wherever you might be starting from.

What resources about inclusion have you found helpful as part of your professional development?

My guest on this episode of the Seven Figure Consultant Podcast is Kay Fabella, a DEI consultant and remote teams specialist who builds diversity, equity and inclusion solutions for companies with distributed teams. She works with organisations around the world, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Kay shared her insights on the power of inclusion, creating opportunities and the part women consultants can play as allies and leaders.

We discussed:

●     Equity and why it is a critical part of the equation

●     Recognising that people have different starting points in life

●     How to think about socio-economic factors which could impact members of your team in different ways

●     Being better allies to each other

●     Dismantling systems to create more inclusivity

●     The gender pay gap for women of colour and how women consultants can close this

●     Making your network more inclusive

●     Leaning in to discomfort and learning through it

🎧  Head here to listen to the episode in full – 045 How Women Consultants Can Lead Inclusion, with Kay Fabella.

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Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature.