Diversity First’s mission to be a trusted partner to organisations by helping managers and their employees to rise above the social and psychological barriers which inhibit their acceptance of greater diversity across the occupational community.
In partnership with our clients across government, the Not-for-Profit sector and private enterprise, our three diversity-centric solutions collectively help to develop organisational culture to reflect more nuance, fluidity and multidimensional forms. By increasing demographic diversity, cognitive diversity and worldview diversity within 21st century organisations, Diversity First delivers solutions which aim to enrich each employee’s subjective experience.
Diversity First partners with organisations in three specific ways:
1. At the most basic level of analysis, we help organisations to unpack their current demographic trends quantitatively. For example, we ensure that organisational leaders understand their hiring and promotion patterns around diversity in gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion and age, among others; how this operates across the occupational hierarchy; and why such patterns may have emerged in the first place. We teach senior leaders and their employees how to identify areas of resistance and guide them in developing thought-provoking and worthwhile solutions. Educating and supporting senior leaders and their employees as they uncover areas of cognitive and emotional resistance by carry out the enriching intra- and inter-personal work which cements cultural change that is solidly based and likely to endure.
2. We offer a sophisticated assessment of cognitive diversity within the organisation. We do this by observing and analysing how much professional and personal lodgement employees offer within the occupational community. We also interpret the reasons for this, by considering employees' finer levels of cognitive and emotional attachment or non-attachment (or the variation between the two extremes) to the organisation. These insights highlight to our clients why employees should be the ultimate source of authority in controlling the boundaries of their privacy while at work. In essence, we help employees to connect at a level that moves beyond the superficial dimensions of our humanity by bringing the unconscious to consciousness.
3. We encourage and assist senior managers and their employees to progress their dialogue on worldview diversity. From this perspective, we consider the variation in interpretations that managers and their employees reach about self concepts; in other words, how each employee conceptualises and interprets the meaning of their self-conscious self and transcend beliefs that reside in their unselfconscious self. We do this by catalysing thought-provoking debates around topics such as notions of ‘the self’, underpinned by debates around philosophy, politics, scientific beliefs and other diverse worldviews that shape our attitudes in the workplace and beyond. From this perspective, we help organisational members discover and delineate the boundaries between their work self and their unselfconscious self, in order to access and interpret their underlying feelings more easily. They may then interpret the world around them with less conscious and unconscious bias and, therefore, increasingly connect with the world around them with greater levels of sensibility and sensitivity.
The point of our work is to help senior leaders and their team members to critically analyse how they have constructed their self-definition and, where necessary, challenge their self-definition in order to deepen their sense of self.
How We Work
Our more complex and, arguably, more valuable work is progressing cognitive diversity and worldview diversity through prolonged fieldwork immersion inside the organisational setting. There, we engage in dialogue and observe senior leaders and their employees, in situ, over a period of time while they are performing their work. After analysing the organisational setting closely, we formulate questions that will challenge the organisation’s social and cultural norms to advance employees’ thinking, feelings and behaviour towards themselves and others who are different from themselves.
We acknowledge that not all senior leaders or their employees see clear benefits or worthwhile value in diversifying their workforce. Indeed, some may reject our reasoning as valid. Nonetheless, we believe strongly that our mission, and all strategic outcomes that are underpinned by our mission, are progressive, in the sense that they reflect a moral and ethical duty to evolve diversity, in all its forms, in 21st century organisational life and an understanding of the clear and lasting benefits of diversity to organisations.
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