This BBC article notes that diversity in many companies can be tokenistic—mere window dressing in fact. Sadly, even after decades of diversity initiatives, inclusion continues to be about numerical requirements and box-checking.
Within a few weeks at her job at a New York salon, hairstylist Cheyenne began to feel like a prop. When wealthy, diverse clients would enter, staff would go out of their way to introduce her and include her in conversations. “I realized the only other black women in the salon were always placed in areas where you could see them from the front. It was almost like they were being showcased. I don’t think the salon owners were trying to be diverse. I think they were trying to seem diverse.” Cheyenne was left feeling like a token: a member of a previously excluded group often hired or promoted as a symbolic gesture toward inclusivity.
Idea for Impact: Stop paying lip service to inclusion. Let’s broaden our understanding of diversity beyond identity-based differences. Let’s thoughtfully and purposefully draw on the unique and varied expertise and experiences that, when integrated, can expand our collective creative potential.