Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Journey with Cindy Whiston
Seasons leadership podcast
The women in leadership podcast

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Journey with Cindy Whiston

Season
3
| Episode
8
5/25/2022
Apple podcast iconSpotify icon

Learn from Cindy Whiston, a consultant in diversity & inclusion, productivity, strategic planning, corporate wellness and conflict resolution. Join Seasons Leadership Co-Founders Debbie Collard and Susan Ireland as they talk to Cindy about diversity, equity and inclusion and the importance of moving beyond your bias as a leader. This is part 2 of a 2-part discussion with Cindy.
 
Show notes
The discussion with Cindy Whiston starts with a recap of part 1 (2:34) and then Cindy centers part 2 of the discussion (2:46) on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Cindy shares (3:15) the “professions exercise” and Debbie and Susan go through the exercise with her to demonstrate how this can make people more aware of their biases. The leaders discuss (8:40) how biases come from our experience, background, the media etc.
 
Cindy asserts that as leaders, part of what we are being asked to do is to create an environment that is psychologically safe for all (9:28).  They talk about the idea of belonging (9:28) and the impact of social pain (9:55). Cindy shares some client examples (11:08).

13:13 – Show Break – Learn more about the Seasons Leadership Reflection Circles offering.
 
Cindy reviews the different types of biases (16:51) and explains how affinity bias is the most insidious (17:36). The leaders discuss how to disrupt these biases (20:45) and the importance of inviting people in so they can share differing points of view (22:22). Cindy encourages listeners to think about what more is possible with new points of view (23:28). The leaders discuss (23:46) how to get away from a fear-based approach (26:00). Cindy encourages reframing as getting feedback, not failure. (27:20) Debbie gives a visual example of viewing the tasks as an obstacle course and there is that one you don’t believe you can get over prompting the metaphorical question: what is my wall?
 
Next, they examine what is holding people back from inviting other perspectives and supporting DEI (28:29). Cindy points out that often the skills that got us to where we are now (our leadership role) are the ones that will absolutely impact our ability to be successful in a DEI context. Susan brings up how leaders are typically graded (30:22) and how that might impact motivation to look for other perspectives. Cindy shares advice (32:29) on how to approach a workplace that does not value DEI – it first starts with yourself.

The conversation concludes with a discussion on why DEI efforts fail (34:00), and how to better support them. Cindy gives tips on how to help people recover when they let their bias get in the way (35:00). (37:10) Susan and Debbie share insights from part 2 of their discussion with Cindy.

Listen to part 1: How We Engage with People is Leadership with Cindy Whiston - Seasons Leadership Podcast

Resources:
·       When “Culture Fit” is Code Word for Affinity Bias - Cultural Intelligence Center (culturalq.com)
·       It’s Not Your Coworkers’ Job to Teach You About Social Issues (hbr.org)
·       24 Anti-Racist Movies and TV Shows You Can Stream Right Now | Glamour
·       Talks to help you understand racism in America | TED Talks
·       Podcasts | Anti-Racism Resources (harvard.edu)

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