It’s funny how coincidences work, isn’t it?
I ordered the 2nd edition of The B Corp Handbook to see how it was augmented with new case studies of companies that profit, thrive, and grow, all while doing good in the world.
I usually force myself to read prologues, forewords, and introductions because, even though I’m anxious to dig right in, I often find there are critical context and additional resources in these sections that can exponentially increase the value that I get from a book, and this edition was no exception.
Co-author Ryan Honeyman seemed to anticipate some backlash from B Corp prospects on the diversity and inclusion focus of the new edition, justifying that you can’t really have a company that does good in the world without acknowledging how racial injustices impact economic, social, and environmental injustices; they are directly correlated.
In light of the events of the week (#GeorgeFloyd), and unfortunately too many weeks before that (#AhmaudArbery, #CentralParkKaren, just to name a couple), it seems more like a sign than coincidence that this was the focus of the introduction, but it was the way Honeyman seemed to need to justify its inclusion that bothered me.
When I was in college, I was told by someone who shall remain nameless, but who was a very influential person in my life, that I should despise affirmative action, because it meant that even if I was qualified for a job, a [person of color] would get it just to make the numbers look better.
Why were the numbers so bad, was my response. Their reply – including blatant racism, lack of empathy and understanding, and justifications – reinforced that, while this person will always be in my life and I cherish them, I cannot possibly adopt their world view, and I became a skeptic of theirs ever since. It wasn’t until years later that I became a recruiter and found myself challenging my own biases while also being exposed to others’, that I became a stronger advocate, and in a position to do so, for equality in the workplace. It was…. messy, though.
I’m excited to dig more into this edition of The B Corp Handbook, but today I wanted to share just a few of the wisdom bombs within the introduction because they directly correlate to what is happening right now before our eyes.
The other co-author, Dr. Tiffany Jana, is the representative voice of diversity in this book. I think it’s only fair to start with her wisdom:
- “If we fail to leverage our collective economic power to address what we can clearly see our gross injustices– economic, Environmental, social, medical, educational, and more– then are we really walking the walk?”
- “There are no perfect role models for DEI. The important thing is to acknowledge your error, apologize whenever possible, and be more present and intentional next time.”
- “Equity… means everyone gets treated according to their individual needs or circumstances.”
- “If you use people as tools to get work done but don’t engage their minds and hearts, that is not inclusion. If people’s opinions are not sought out, taken seriously, or at the pond, that is not inclusion. Inclusion is sharing the work, and the opportunities, the glory, the fun, and the failure.”
- “In order to restore trust in business, the business community needs to respond to those people’s legitimate desire for jobs with dignity the business community also needs to make the case that economic justice for all isn’t inextricably tied to, and dependent on, social and environmental justice.”
- “Companies that thrive on the exploitation of people should not thrive.”
Quotes from Mr. Ryan Honeyman:
- “It’s should not be the burden of people of color, women, or other marginalized groups to educate folks with privilege about institutional racism, institutional sexism, and other forms of systemic bias.”
- “If you choose to walk away from an uncomfortable conversation, you are exercising your privilege, because people of color, women, and others cannot walk away from their identity.”
- “White supremacy is the system that perpetuates many of the problems our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are attempting to solve.”
- “I had never considered that challenging and unraveling the norms, assumptions, and culture of white supremacy is self could be part of the solution.”
- “Only by naming it, disrupting it, and dismantling it can we successfully create an economy that works for the benefit of all life.”
I invite you to consider Mindfulness Training and Emotional Intelligence (MT/EQ) training for your company and/or team. When applied correctly, over 200 studies prove that MT/EQ helps companies control profit bleeding by contributing to improved problem solving, enhanced motivation, higher performance and productivity, and more while also helping to replace bias/discrimination, corruption, workplace drama, harassment with consciousness and kindness.
What are your thoughts on how to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
Music video directed by Sophie Muller, featuring N’Dea Davenport and filmed at The Chelsea Hotel in NYC.
Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play.
While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.
Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.
She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.