I’d like to take a moment to set the trajectory for 2022, before we delve into the details of our work and forget to remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place.
When I set up Voice At The Table, it was to ensure that women – like me – could contribute more fully, that our contribution was valued and welcomed, and that managers and leaders understood this and learned how to do so.
While our focus has expanded from women to every individual, the gist of our mission remains as it was:
To make your organisation truly diverse and inclusive, we work on inclusive behaviour change. In this way, every team and individual develops, improves and embeds inclusive behaviour habits. It becomes who you are.
We also help you uncover and tackle any systemic bias. In this way, your processes automatically nudge you to be more inclusive. It becomes how you work.
So we continue to develop corporate cultures where people value difference in others. Why? Because we genuinely believe that Diversity and Inclusion is good for business. When more people feel included, their engagement, creativity and performance improve. And aren’t people our biggest asset?
Guided by this, Voice At The Table have been relentless in learning new techniques, engaging experienced associates and – above all – working hard to practice what we preach.
In 2022, we look forward to expanding on the practice of our 8 Inclusive Behaviours with new interventions for leaders that will help them guide the way and develop psychological safety in their teams; and with new reminders for staff on how to continue to improve these behaviours. We also look forward to improving the employee life cycle with the introduction of pragmatic corrections to processes like recruitment and promotion that reduce bias without much effort. Finally, we look forward to sharing stories and experiences from our communities and supporters, broadening horizons and raising awareness of what it’s like on the fringe, with inspiring and practical content in our newsletters, podcasts and LIVE Q&A online sessions.
The team and I look forward to a fulfilling year of progress, missteps, corrections and learning, making our way together from Unconscious Incompetence to Unconscious Competence.
Three Guiding Principles
For now, let me leave you with 3 of my own guiding principles for life, in the hope that they may inspire you too:
- Live and let live. Individual freedom is important of course, and we encourage everyone to be themselves as much as possible, within boundaries. These boundaries are the rights of others. So, live your life the way you want to, so long as that doesn’t impede on others’ ability to do the same.
- I’m just like you. I’m nothing like you (Nancy Kline). Recognise that, while we’re more alike than we’re different from each other, each of us is an individual, with their own experiences, filters and identity. We ought to remember and honour this conundrum – it isn’t a mystery; it is a fact of life.
- Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. We are our own biggest obstacles. If we sometimes live like no-one is watching, we might accomplish far greater things than we give ourselves credit for.
So here’s to a year of trying hard, pushing boundaries, making lots of mistakes and learning from them, and letting others do the same. Together.
Here’s to 2022!