Don’t try to smooth over discrimination

We just recorded one of our best received webinars with diversity and inclusion expert, Maureen Brown. While she covered a variety of items, one of the most counter-intuitive ideas she talked about was how taking a smooth it over approach to discrimination might make it worse. The aggrieved person may acquiesce, but deep inside they are still hurt (and it may be another in a long line of indignities they have experienced). And, the rush to quickly, and superficially, implement remedies feels inauthentic, especially if no structural change is made to prevent such incidents from happening again. Here are four ways managers can address discrimination:

  • Take the situation or complaint seriously
  • Reinforce and reward inclusive behaviours among staff
  • Practice and communicate empathy
  • Declare and walk the talk that discrimination will not be tolerated