Take a Closer Look

A Culture of Inclusion Means Higher Productivity
and Personal Growth

by Shelley Schweitzer

Are incidents of discriminatory behavior up or are more people reporting incidents of discriminatory behavior? Are more “things” happening or are we hearing about more “things?” Does it matter?

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 73,485 new discrimination charges in 2022, an increase of 20% over fiscal 2021. Emails to the agency increased by 32% and calls were up 18%.

In 2022, 61% of employees in the United States said that they witnessed workplace discrimination. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (also known as DEIB) is becoming increasingly important and integral to the long-term success and growth of a company, according to the Academy to Innovate HR.

In a Harvard Business Review article, Professor Amy Edmondson defines team psychological safety as a “shared belief held by members of the team that it’s OK to take risks, to express their ideas and concerns, to speak up with questions and to admit mistakes – all without fear of negative consequences. It’s felt permission for candor.”

Of course, discrimination takes many forms and may or may not be intentional. Whether structural or individual, coping with unfair or biased treatment results in decreased employee productivity and satisfaction, increased turnover, and absenteeism. Individuals often experience depression, anxiety, and other physical manifestations of the stress caused by the behavior.

Approximately one-third of all discrimination complaints filed with the US EEOC are related to gender, sexual harassment, and pregnancy discrimination.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 42% of working women in the US have faced gender discrimination on the job. The study found that women are roughly twice as likely as men to say they have experienced at least one of eight specific forms of gender discrimination at work.

Women’s Impact, Inc. is committed to helping women advance in the workplace by helping them Unleash Power and Realize Potential. To that end, a four-part series is being launched on January 17, 2024, to help employers, employees, colleagues, and community partners learn more about creating psychologically safe spaces where all people can grow and thrive.

All are welcome at A Closer Look – Stronger Together: A Journey to Belonging, presented by Women’s Impact, Inc. in collaboration with Kent State University at Stark, the United Way Dismantling Racism Coalition, and the YWCA of Canton. This series is made possible in part by a grant from the She Angels Foundation.

All sessions will be at Kent State University at Stark from 4:30-6 p.m. Fee is $15 per session or $45 for the entire series which includes Branding and Positionality, January 17; “I Have Blind Spots, You Have Blind Spots, Everyone Has Blind Spots,” February 28; Privilege is…, March 20, and Community Belonging, April 17.

Register here for the entire series or for the first session only. Impact members pay $15 per session or $45 for the four; guests pay $20 per session or $60 for the series. Download this Informational Flyer for details of the series. Questions can be directed to womensimpactinc@gmail.com or call 330.236.9938.

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