Last week, SSC attended the B Corp Inclusion Academy in Richmond. The day-long event was presented by Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman of TMI Consulting and focused on the specific diversity and inclusion challenges many B Corps face. A variety of Virginia B Corps were represented at the Inclusion Academy, which brought many different backgrounds and experiences to the table.
The day was filled with discussions, ranging from a focus on our own personal diversity to recognizing biases in the work place. At the core of the event, the message was clear: what is the business case for diversity? We all know that diversity is important and needed, but why? How can we, as B Corps, help bring diversity to our businesses? What is stopping us? These are just some of the questions we faced and discussed at length. Here are some of the key takeaways from the Inclusion Academy:
There was a point during the day when we were all asked a simple question: why diversity? Why is diversity important? Why is it needed? Why should businesses care? One by one, we all went around the room stating why we needed diversity. So why do we, as companies, need diversity? Here are some of the answers everyone came up with:
- For different perspectives
- Creating cultural relationships
- Allowing for innovation and engagement
- Keeping your customer base in mind
- Benefits in recruiting
- Help with marketing
- B Corp credibility
- Helping unlock your brain's creativity
Don’t let your bias stop you
Bias exists. After all, we're only human. But is our unconscious bias showing up at, and even in, our work? One of the exercises at the Inclusion Academy was focused on helping us recognize some our biases. If we start to recognize our biases, we can then move forward in trying to stop them. This can allow for better work and a better workplace environment. Hopefully with the recognition of our unconscious biases, we can then strive to make our businesses even more diverse.
Can diversity help create social good?
As a B Corp, we are focused on creating a better world, whether through the environment or through social change. So is it possible for diversity to help aid that? We were asked what exactly is the social good our company is trying to create. Once cognizant of what we're trying to bring forward, how would creating a diverse workforce help the social mission? Hearing the other companies talk about their individual social missions allowed for great discussion on how diversity can further their company and social mission.
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