It’s not enough for institutions to look different. They have to think differently as well. Sustainable diversity and inclusion only occurs when there’s actual behavioral change.
Intentionality needs to happen at all levels: Upper management, middle management & entry level. A commitment to understand how and why people of different backgrounds behave the way they do is imperative for success to occur. It's how awareness, humanization and empathy starts. A top down approach is just as important as a bottom up approach when it comes to diversity and inclusion. They are a pair of strategies that shine brightest when working in tandem.
This is how you can determine if you are living out your values as individuals and institutions. We get in trouble when we stray away from our values. When our values aren't being practiced, problems arise. Do you have benchmarks to measure your values as well as your company's?
This is also how you become aware of the in groups and out groups that exist in your environment. A lot of diversity and inclusion work is about addressing the invisible. It's about prioritizing nuance over binaries.
Without this flexibility, intersectionality gets ignored.
Sustainable diversity & inclusion requires regular reflection, a willingness to be open minded, releasing of egos, stepping out of comfort zones, a commitment to acknowledge wrong doings and do something about it and breaking down oppressive systems.
Are you willing to do that?