Three Ways to Prevent Discrimination in Your Business
Whether discrimination is unintentional or intentional, the impact is the same, and no amount of rationalization makes it acceptable. Here are three ways you can prevent discrimination in your business.
1- Be conscious of your personal biases and learns to filter them out.
Bias and wrong assumptions won’t go away without intervention. Just being aware isn’t enough. We have to be willing to learn, willing to change and make mistakes. When we educate ourselves, we can educate others, and they can educate others. Inclusion can go viral.
We can build workplaces and communities where people aren’t treated based on stereotypes, where people can live their best and not worry about being singled out because of who they are.
Train your people, your family and friends and don’t make excuses. Speak up.
2- Define, change or adapt your business, school or city culture to welcome and benefit from diversity and be inclusive and allow people to be their best.
Leaders and owners of businesses no matter what size need to look at their culture, norms and behaviors, and evaluate whether they are welcoming to everyone who wants to shop, eat or pay for services. Business owners create the culture, and it’s up to them to drive inclusivity to every area of business, particularly to people who are in front of customers.
People who want to see change, end racism and other forms of discrimination need to have meaningful interactions with people who are different. There is no other way to get to really know people and understand their experiences or perspective.
Being “liberal” and “tolerant” are not enough. If everyone in your life looks like you, everyone in your business looks like you, and most of your customers look like you, chances are your biases will lead your customer service.
3- Learn and practice seeing the world from other people’s vantage points, experiences and hearts. Face your fear of difference and discomfort.
I’ve facilitated real “dialogues,” or “discussions,” for over 20 years on race, racism, types of privilege, and diversity and inclusion with organizations of all sizes. I’ve seen connections made, fear dissipate, and people who have never had a real meaningful conversation with someone different than them develop relationships that led them to collaborate on projects at work, in the community, and in the world. People collaborating, sharing resources and ideas is good for business, people talking together, acknowledging differences and finding new commonalities is good for the community, and people spreading the conversation and stopping fear and hate will change the world. And that’s good for every single one of us. Just firing a person so we can feel better about ourselves is not.
If you are interested in learning more or participating in our conversation or dialogue on race, racism and inclusion, contact us now. We’ll be glad to answer any and every question.
We’re here to help your business serve the needs of all of your customers and employees.