Even with a vast majority of one cultural perspective presented within a company, its leaders may not believe an inclusion deficit exists in the organization. To the holder of this mindset, the risk to productivity, reputation, or marketplace stability is non-existent. This mindset views any DEI efforts as an interruption to business. This is what social scientists define as a “mono-cultural mindset.”
Leaders with a ” monocultural” mindset do not believe inclusion is a primary objective.
The bottom line is this: key decision-makers are implementing DEI programs that they don’t even believe are necessary. But what about all of the data? McLean and Co. surveyed 800 global companies and found that 60% of respondents report DEI programs are focused on compliance only, 62% of respondents do not have a formal DEI strategy, and 58% of respondents do not have leadership buy-in.
Without leadership buy-in, any initiative they implement will result in a failure-to-last. This mindset is the fundamental conflict with DEI efforts.
The real question then becomes, how can people with a monocultural mindset be moved to embed DEI principles?
Here is the short answer: Shifting Mindsets is an Inside Job
Mono-cultural mindsets learn from experiencing people’s differences. At this capacity level learners must connect emotions and awaken to the realities of other human beings. Immersion is the answer. But what does that look like, how do we help people experience differences?
This proves challenging for DEI practitioners and DEI supporters as, oftentimes, those working in the inclusion space are often still learning to engage differences while facing personal marginalization and discrimination. This is not work for the weak-hearted!
A few action items for building momentum: