GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 28

Business & Community
Advocacy
Demonstrating
Inclusivity
(Even When You Don't Understand)
By Cathy Martin, Partner and Instructional Designer, Workplace Talent Solutions
I
t was 6 a.m., bright and early on a Saturday morning. The grocery
store aisles were dark, but behind the swinging doors that led
to the warehouse and kitchen areas, the lights were bright and
employees were starting to trickle in. The young Mennonite girl
arrived in good time to prepare the breakfast food for the snack bar.
She worked alongside her supervisor while chatting about plans for
the weekend.
As they worked, the supervisor was working up the courage to
ask the girl a question. The supervisor had noticed that today, the
Mennonite girl was not wearing her traditional bonnet/cap on
her head like she usually did. The supervisor was very curious but
wasn't sure how to ask appropriately. Finally, she carefully asked, " Is
there a certain reason you aren't wearing your bonnet on your head
today? " The girl looked horrified and reached her hand up to her
head. Suddenly, the girl realized that she had forgotten to put it
on that morning in the rush of getting to the store on time. The
supervisor offered a baseball cap that was in the kitchen, but the girl
was embarrassed and said it wouldn't be the same. She asked if she
could go home to get her bonnet.
In that moment, the supervisor had an opportunity. There was no
reason for her to allow the girl to go home. She was scheduled for the
morning and there was still food that needed to be prepared. But,
instead, she graciously agreed to cover for the girl until she could
go home. She didn't understand why that bonnet was so important
and why it mattered so much. But, in that cross-cultural moment,
she demonstrated the wisdom of inclusivity in the workplace.
28 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2021
That young Mennonite girl was me. I was from a unique culture,
" foreign " to my supervisor and coworkers in so many ways. I will
never forget that Saturday morning. I felt an embarrassment that my
supervisor would never understand. That single part of my wardrobe
carried so much of my personal identity with it. Forgetting to put
it on was like being partially undressed. My supervisor could never
understand that from her position outside of my culture. However,
the moment she allowed me to go home was incredibly significant
to me. I felt valued and appreciated. I knew she didn't understand,
but I also knew she didn't have to. She was sensitive and empathetic
to my cultural values.
If you interact with employees or coworkers who represent a
different culture other than your own, you will eventually come
across differences in beliefs, behaviors, dress, etc. Some cultures
celebrate different holidays. Some avoid certain foods. Some avoid
speaking up in a group of people. Some wear bonnets. You will
have to choose how to respond to those differences. Creating an
inclusive and welcoming company culture means you demonstrate
a willingness to learn, accept and appreciate those differences
whether or not you understand. A company culture like that will
naturally attract a diverse workforce since employees will feel valued
and recognized.
If you'd like to strategize about ways to accommodate a
multicultural workforce, you can schedule a free, 30-minute strategy
call with Workplace Talent Solutions. We'd love to hear about your
challenges and share some of what we've learned over the years. For
more information, visit www.workplacetalentsolutions.com.
http://www.workplacetalentsolutions.com

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 1
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 2
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 3
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 4
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 5
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 6
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 7
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 8
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 9
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 10
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 11
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 12
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GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 14
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 15
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GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 18
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 19
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GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 27
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 28
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 29
GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 30
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GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2021 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
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