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2020: A Time for Change

Posted By Aileen Provan, Friday, June 26, 2020

A D&I wake-up call for companies everywhere

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If you think 2020 has been a weird year on an unprecedented scale so far, you’re right. And you’re not alone.

First, our friends in Australia knew raging fires that ravaged their land, stole their homes and decimated wildlife, along with hearts and souls.

Then, the world was hit by a virus that knew no boundaries and scattered us all into our homes like cockroaches when the lights go on. We were glued to televisions and internet news sites for updates on statistics we didn’t understand and learning to work in new ways, while home-schooling our children.

“The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the Microsoft ecosystem, affecting companies and their employees across the globe. In the IT world, we are innovators, yet some of the greatest innovations we have seen were in how people found ways to stay motivated, remain productive, maintain connections – and keep helping customers throughout this crisis.” - Sérgio Baptista, President, IAMCP International

 

And then.

Suddenly, George Floyd, a black man in the U.S., was horrifically killed at the hands of local police and the world halted.

And, across the globe, people stood up and said “NO! We will not tolerate this kind of treatment. We will not tolerate racism.”

Perhaps yours is one of the many companies that sent employees home in advance of violent protests near your offices. Or maybe your team was already safely ensconced in their respective houses, doing their best to stay connected and productive.

Either way, it’s safe to say that we’re all living in a different world and adapting to change on a global scale.

“These are times of drastic change and change can be uncomfortable for some. But the time has come for all of us to have real conversations about discrimination and racism. These issues impact all of us and it’s only by working together and being inclusive that the issues will be solved.” Frank Valdivieso, D&I Chair, IAMCP Americas

 

Where do we go from here?

Everyone has been affected by recent events. And everyone is talking about them. You can be sure that, whether around the water cooler or online, your team is discussing what’s been going on in the world.

George Floyd has been more widely recognized in death than he was in life and his story has spawned discussions everywhere.

And that’s why now is a good time for healthy discussion on D&I (Diversity and Inclusion).

But not solely on the subject of racism. It’s a good time to discuss all aspects of our human differences, not just in the workplace, but on the streets of our neighbourhoods and in our children’s schools.

Because many of us hold unconscious biases of which we are not aware. Discussion creates knowledge, which opens the gates of understanding, making our environments better for all.

 

We live in a biased world

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“From a young age we are taught right from wrong, based on the country in which we live, the culture and heritage of our surrounding area, our family, the teachers at our schools and universities who influence us and, of course even more today, the news and comments shared on social media.”  Mary Hunter, IAMCP Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Lead and Managing Director at Columbus UK, an organisation deeply committed to diversity and inclusion.

The IAMCP is delighted to help you start your organizational conversation through exclusive member access to Microsoft’s Unconscious Bias Training to support you in the thinking, development and/or enhancement of your diversity and inclusion strategy. 

The e-learning course can be accessed here: Unconscious Bias Training.

“In the first year of the D&I Committee’s existence, we focussed on “why?”– to help the community understand the meaning, relevance and importance of D&I for businesses. In our second year, our focus has shifted to “how?”, with all initiatives directed towards creating guidance on how our members can become more diverse and ethical suppliers.” – Sarika Malhotra, Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, IAMCP International

Look for more information on how the IAMCP is working towards effective change, coming soon.

 

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