“If they had funny names,” she said casually, “I would put them at the bottom of the resume pile.” We were making our way down a flight of steps, eagerly heading toward our now habitual lunch time together. I was glad she was ahead of me. I had to stop to catch my breath, and to hold the weight of her words. "Wendy" (not her real name) and I met a few weeks earlier as we on-boarded into a new company. Between bites, she mentioned having a background in HR. She was a little older than me [...]
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So far Uva Coles has created 6 blog entries.
When Will the Protests, the Noise in the Workplace, Finally Stop? Dear Leader,Wondering when all this “Noise” will stop? When your workforce might finally focus on the work at hand again and just go back to normal? I get it. The Noise can be disturbing, disruptive, deafening. Like many other leaders, you are likely looking at your bottom line and desperately hoping these courageous conversations will finally come to a halt. I mean—you did your part, right? You wrote the inclusion statement that spoke to your organization’s commitment to diversity. And you meant every word. You held [...]
You've Penned the Words. Now Let's Pen the Work: About that Anti-Racism Statement... Dear Leader, Want my honest opinion about these organizational statements? Here goes! In most cases, they give me pause and cause concern. From Nancy Pelosi and team cloaked in Kente cloth (they really tried...) to bold words splashed all over corporate social media accounts, some leaders are, um, doing a lil' too much. To be clear, you can’t really over-correct when you may have inadvertently or intentionally contributed to building or upholding inequitable systems, practices, or cultures. But in my world, sometimes doing the [...]
#PassTheBaton: Getting Through The Race Against COVID-19 Together Are you and your organization not quite ready to withstand the race against the #COVID19 crisis? Indeed, the virus is a formidable opponent. But there’s good news. This race is not a marathon meant to go at it alone. It is a relay race we can win if we leverage our competencies, share resources, and remember what matters most—each other. If you are in a leadership position, here are some tools to help you get to the other side-- one leg at a time. First Leg: Put People First! As leaders, when the ground [...]
Of Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership with Teeth So you have courageously prioritized Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) and have lifted it as a strategic investment. In fact, you have made the decision to provide it the resources, time, and thoughtfulness any true organizational commitment requires. You have also embraced the fact that an effective DEI strategy will need to be holistically embedded in organizational programs, policies, and culture. You get it! Now what? Well, BEFORE you hire your first DEI leader, here are two next steps to consider: Build a job description that will have the positional [...]
Diversity Done Right...What's in Your Leadership Luggage? Confused about diversity? I understand why... Over the past two decades, I have been afforded the opportunity to sit at countless workforce development tables. Along with numerous respected leaders, subject matter experts, and cross-sector practitioners, I've added my voice, ears, and perspective to discussions about the critical need to build Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies in the workplace. From engaging in expansive, regional initiatives launched by government officials to supporting localized, community-based programs, I have been privy to conversations (on and off the record) that have often rendered [...]