Driving diversity + inclusion through politics

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Ever since Home Depot Co-Founder Bernie Marcus pledged his support for President Trump, people on social media have been calling for others to boycott Home Depot. It doesn’t matter that Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank built Home Depot on their backs, employing 400,000 people. Or how about the fact he has already donated $2 billion to more than 300 charities, including $250 million to build the Georgia Aquarium, the nation’s largest such facility. He’s also given $25 million to Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy and research operation, and founded and funded the Marcus Institute for children and teenagers with developmental disabilities. As a mom to a son born on the Autism Spectrum, I know first hand what a priceless service the Marcus Center for Autism provides to our community and so grateful for the services made possible by Bernie Marcus. Every parent with a child with Autism will attest that we don’t have enough Marcus Centers in our communities!

We each have the right to our opinion and who we chose to vote for without fearing retaliation; we can’t just cancel one another because we disagree.

Diversity and Inclusion

Despite spending billions, Diversity and Inclusion efforts are failing in corporate America. We have created such a PC environment that if someone disagrees, they will do what they can to make that person’s life very difficult at work. Or worse yet, they will go to HR and complain about being offended. Being canceled is real.

The reality is, for organizations to continue to innovate, it takes working with people who have different viewpoints. It is nearly impossible to develop new ideas working with people who think the same way as you do.

The minute people stop speaking up is when diversity and inclusion efforts go out the window.

“To completely disagree with someone, and yet engage with them with respect and honesty, is a superpower.” Vala Afshar

For the first time in my life, I have been quite open about my political views and have blogged regularly on LinkedIn. I chose LinkedIn because it is a professional environment and a great place to have conversations with people you work with without being at work. My content has been well received by some based on the numerous notes and support I get, while from others, not so much. I even had a block a few users based who gave inappropriate responses and resorted to name calling. I also made new connections, participated in lively conversations that also provided me with a fresh perspective.

Discussing politics requires a delicate balance. I applaud how LinkedIn has handled this, and I agree with LinkedIn 100%; I don’t want to see inappropriate content; no memes, no crackpipes, and no name-calling. Politics should be not be based on attacking one’s personality; conversations should be based on policy. I know others have complained about censorship on LinkedIn, but I have yet to experience it personally, and I post regularly. I am grateful for the opportunity to have conversations we need to have that seem impossible to have in the workplace and for the new connections I have made.

Passion for People + Excellence

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