Ready, set, change! Building a fair, equitable and just IT culture

Redefining workplace culture is no small task. But with the right leadership competencies, management discipline, and a tenacious commitment to the task at hand, you can activate your new organizational vision.

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Transforming culture takes time and effort

It is important to remember that cultivating a fair and equitable workplace culture for people of color is a marathon and not a sprint.  It can be a very rewarding and fulfilling journey for all employees, particularly the IT leadership team, given the many different learning opportunities that will inevitably occur as a function of continuous improvement.  Additionally, IT leaders must diligently work to prepare the workforce for this decisive cultural shift by creating multiple learning opportunities for all employees.  Several examples of potential training topics include:

  • Valuing diversity in the workplace;
  • Unconscious bias;
  • Micro-aggressions;
  • Allyship;
  • Cultural awareness; and
  • Inclusive workplace practices.

Developing a comprehensive DE&I strategy and seamlessly integrating meaningful inclusive practices into the workplace culture requires continuous commitment by the organization over time and the ongoing influence of authentic leaders with specialized skills.  As Amy C. Edmondson and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic wrote in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “In a complex and uncertain world that demands constant learning and agility, the most apt and adaptable leaders are those who are aware of their limitations, have the necessary humility to grow their own and others’ potential, and are courageous and curious enough to create sincere and open connections with others. They build inclusive team climates with psychological safety that foster constructive criticism and dissent.”

It should also be clearly understood that unlike many traditional corporate initiatives, the path for successfully transforming the workplace culture will be unclear, unfamiliar, and intimidating for a variety of reasons, and the overall experience will vary across organizations.  However, for those leaders who firmly believe in the reimagined vision for the organization, it is not an impossible or insurmountable goal to achieve. For them, now is the time to embrace this new leadership challenge and start the transformational cultural journey.

As former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun once said, “Magic lies in challenging what seems impossible.

The final article in the series will explain how IT leaders can work together to reinforce the organization’s commitment to cultivating a fair and equitable work environment by establishing new strategic relationships in the community, which will significantly contribute to eliminating the adverse impact of systemic racism over time.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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