Mobility - April 2021 - 37

DE&I During COVID
Building a sense of belonging has become even
more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic,

especially in workplaces in which people have not
been physically together for the past year, Culbreath
says. " Belonging creates a space where people
can thrive. When people are thriving, they have
confidence, " she says. " They feel they can bring their
whole self to work. They're likely to take more risks,
which will allow for growth and lead to opportunities. They know they'll be recognized and appreciated. They know they'll be seen and heard. "
Remote or hybrid workplaces require more
intentionality among managers and executives
to ensure that team members are doing well and
are fully engaged, Culbreath says. " We have to be
more purposeful and meaningful in our interactions and how we interact during this time, "
she says. " How are we ensuring that our team
members are actively engaged in the meetings on
Zoom? ... How about getting more intentional
about smaller group meetings or breakout sessions
and elevating the quieter voices? People can get
totally lost and never have a moment to interact. "
Rethinking interactions and slowing down to
ponder how to connect with people we don't see
every day " gives us a wonderful opportunity to do
better in the sense of diversity, equity, and inclusion, " Culbreath says. " Who's sitting alone in a
one-bedroom apartment? Who's helping their
5-year-old do kindergarten online? Who lives with
a parent and is supporting some other health issues?
There are so many different environments we're
working in. We aren't just working during a pandemic; we are trying to survive during a historical
health, race, and social justice pandemic and trying
to work. ... We need to take advantage of regular
check-ins to stay connected and be supportive. "
The pandemic has brought about a new normal
for workplaces, especially those that are fully remote,
Zarghami agrees. And racial injustices dating back
to before the founding of the U.S. have become
front and center since the killing of George Floyd.
" There is a greater sense of working alone, or working
individually, where connections to colleagues become
even more important, " he says.
The focus on race " presents an extra challenge in being able to show up in a remote-work
world, " Zarghami says. " That begs the expectation
that leaders in organizations should be making
intentional efforts to show up for employees from
underrepresented backgrounds-to say, 'How
are you doing? What do you need from me?' It
might be typical happenstance if you're in an office

37
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code-switch? That means you can be your authentic self, and you don't have to check any part of
yourself at the door, " she says. " There's a responsibility for each of us around creating and maintaining spaces for inclusion and belonging, and for
leaders to pause and ensure that all team members
feel welcomed and included. "
Equity is the crucial understanding that the
journey to success is not the same for everyone,
and that, often, different barriers exist for different
people depending on their identities and experiences. It's also a process that allows employers to
tackle these barriers or hurdles across the organization. When combined with a holistic understanding of skills, talents, and work styles, equity
can take DE&I initiatives to the next level.
" An awareness of the inequities is critical
for leaders to purposefully drive real change, "
Culbreath says. " Giving everyone the same thing
sounds nice, but not everyone can benefit from the
same thing when systems and structures are set up
to maintain power for those within the dominant
groups. The systems by which we do business today
have to be changed. Where there are barriers and
hurdles, it's the responsibility of our leaders to
remove them, allowing access and opportunity for
all rather than a select few. "
Employees from underrepresented backgrounds need the confidence, self-efficacy, and
self-compassion to thrive professionally, says
Paymon Zarghami, senior account executive, talent
development strategy, for BetterUp, a mobilefirst leadership development solution that helps
employees at any level build resilience, leadership
capacity, and agility through scalable one-to-one
executive coaching.
" Those are critical mindsets for somebody to be
strong in, " he says. " They need to be able to think
clearly and regulate their emotions in times of
stress, which will ultimately allow them to work
effectively with others to motivate their colleagues
in a meaningful manner. And also, [they need to
be able to] increase the degree to which they feel
like they belong, and the degree to which they
believe in themselves, and the degree to which
they can manage themselves personally in the
work environment. "


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Mobility - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - April 2021

Mobility - April 2021 - Cover1
Mobility - April 2021 - Cover2
Mobility - April 2021 - 1
Mobility - April 2021 - 2
Mobility - April 2021 - 3
Mobility - April 2021 - 4
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Mobility - April 2021 - Cover3
Mobility - April 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com