• Jocelyn Ryder

Accountability is the New Diversity

I have sat down to write a blog post more times than I'd care to count. Usually, I have what I think is a great insight into some recent news story. As I'd write, I'd begin to feel angry, which I define as separating from a hurt that I've decided won't quit. This definition is immenselfy helpful to me, as it frees me from the idea that I'm not allowed to be angry, me being a woman and all. I never understood anger. Some advised that anger was to be avoided at all costs. Others said that anger turned inward is depression, and that rings true. I have been depressed and unable to access any emotion. But separating from a hurt that I've decided won't quit is a validation of my experience. I've been hurt, which means I've lost something. That the loss won't quit means I've experienced this loss again and again.

For instance, whenever I would hear about one more woman disclosing that some famous Hollywood guy hurt her, I would go back to the lip-pursing, impatient expression that is a hallmark of my personal mad. Then I had to decide that as important as it was for me to acknowledge my experience, it was also vital for me to turn that energy into action.

I am noticing that people are changing what they do and have always done. I see the changes we, as a community of citizens, are starting to make. As powerful men in the entertainment industry are being called to account for their coercive and, sometimes, criminal sexual behavior, that is one more step toward other industries doing the same. If Hollywood can do it, so can Silicon Valley, Wall Street, big agriculture, government ...

What does this have to do with you and your business? Well, I'm declaring that accountability is the new diversity. Accessing hiring channels of women, people of color, and other marginalized folks who are under represented in the work force does not help change a system that is inherently biased against them. What works is calling people in, using empathy and compassion, so that we can understand what people are afraid of and support them to change.

There's nothing that women, people of color, and other marginalized people need to do in order to be a better "fit" in corporate America. Instead, corporate America has a beautiful opportunity to attune to all the ways they can make their companies open, safe, and welcoming places.

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