‘Ism’ is a suffix: Racism, sexism, ageism. It connotes a bigoted view towards a person or group of people. A view that is tainted in a biased way. That may be articulated or kept secret in ones head. Either way, “Ism”s are a scourge we’d be better off dispelling. But sometimes this bias is invisible, undetectable. What does one do in this case to be sure one is operating on sound moral ground and in an unbiased way?
These “Ism”s grow best in the dark. What I mean by that is if you spend your days isolated, or surrounded by groups that aren’t diverse in their composition you’ll likely develop some incorrect perceptions about certain groups.
Speak your mind, but also listen to yourself from your “audience’s” perspective. It’s important that a person feels free to express their ideas. However, making sweeping generalizations about specific groups may seem innocuous, but could be offensive in any setting, let alone a business one. Comments about food that is unfamiliar, accents, physical mannerisms, affects can put a wet blanket on an otherwise thriving work environment.
Measuring is managing the adage goes. Here is no different. Look to your left, and to your right. Does the makeup of your workplace in any way seek to emulate that which you serve? Be it in the make-up of age/race/gender, or culturally attuning ones selves with remote stakeholders, having this cultural awareness is not enough. Measuring the impact you’re having in reality is the only way to effectively promote a more utopian inclusive future.