We're excited to welcome Roya Dedeaux to the MOB blog as she shares her list of questions to consider for those who are interested in involving diversity, equality, and inclusion in their business. You can learn more about Roya at the end of the blog post.
I am a therapist. A business owner. A woman. Half middle-eastern. Passing white. Raised Baha'i. I have a foot in the door of several oppressed populations and also have a tremendous amount of privilege.
I am uncomfortable, often, discussing racism, sexism, ableism, and other ways that I might be (definitely am) biased or prejudiced. I believe that emotions are information, including my discomfort, including my defensiveness.
I believe that we need to look at our patterns -- to see what we value, and look for what doesn't serve us or our relationships, or humanity.
I believe that we need to do that on a personal level, and if we are any kind of leadership position, we need to continually evaluate the values that are indicated by the choices we consciously or unconsciously make.
To that end, I came up with this list of questions to ask yourself. If you are a business owner, especially if you are male and/or white and/or able-bodied and/or or mid-high economic status, please ask yourselves these questions on a regular basis.
As a therapist, I use assessments as a baseline - establishing where we are now so that we can look back and measure progress. Maybe you can use these questions in the same way. Keep asking them. Keep making adjustments based on the answers. Keep doing better as you know and understand more.
1. Who are you inviting to be speakers, educators, guest bloggers, vendors, or representatives of your business?
2. Who is your customer base and what patterns do you see in the demographics? Why are you reaching them and not others?
3. What do your marketing materials show in terms of representation? What does your signage say or not say?
4. What are the origins of your brand aesthetic or product? Is it from a culture other than yours?
5. Who are you paying for services and what does that say about who you value?
6. Where are you located? What is the demographic makeup and how does your business work within that? Who are you collaborating with?
7. Who are you hiring and for what positions? Do you see any patterns?
8. Are your social media posts paying attention to important cultural days of groups other than yours? Are you being sensitive to world events?
9. Are you frequently asking yourself what barriers - logistical or social-emotional are there for diverse groups of people to access your business?
10. Is there diversity in your leadership or decision-making team? Who are you learning from?
Roya Dedeaux is a therapist, author, trainer, teacher, speaker, coach, parent, homeschooler, maker, and the Long Beach, California MOB Meetup Leader.
Connect with Roya online at https://www.royadedeaux.com/