Taking a Pause From Polarization
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
While we recognize that each organization is different and not all best practices will work for your DEI goals, it is our hope that you can take these practices and leverage them in your life, your company, and/or your organization!
In reflection on the election and other high emotion events of this year, it is painfully clear that we have become more polarized than ever in our ability to have respectful dialogues in the workplace. A study from The Dialogue Project found that politics is largely seen as one of the most contentious and difficult issues to discuss respectfully all throughout the world. Further the study found that in the U.S., politics (80%), race (77%), and immigration (74%) are the three hardest subjects to have constructive conversations with people who hold differing views. Though polarization is a well-recognized issue, it is human nature that people struggle and are often not willing to listen to others who see things differently.
Organizations have noticed the increased polarization of 2020 and are taking action. Unilever and Coca-Cola have both recently made the bold move to pause advertising for the rest of 2020 on Facebook and Twitter "due to the polarized atmosphere" in the U.S. Other major companies such as Hershey's, Levi's and many others have followed suit in an effort to "stop misinformation and hate speech" on social media platforms.
At Ellavate Solutions we know the power in being able to have respectful dialogues about tough topics in the workplace such as racial discrimination, gender inequality, stereotypes, and many more. In our inclusive leadership workshops, we help leaders build skills to have more respectful conversations in expressing both similar and different opinions surrounding uncomfortable topics. We are encouraged by the bold actions of organizations and leaders that are taking action and a stance in doing the same and building towards a #WorkplaceUtopia where everyone's opinions are valued and we engage one another with respect. We hope that many others will follow in these footsteps when presented with such obstacles.
- Dr. Ella F. Washington