What does inclusivity mean to you?
I recently moderated a chat forum for the National Business Aviation Association, Diversity Equity & Inclusivity group at the Virtual Business Aviation Convention and Exhibit. I am proud to be a member of this group. My topic for the forum discussion focused on strategies for engaging caregivers. As a result, much of the resulting collaborations were about how to include women, minorities, and primary caregivers.
The following morning, as I sat next to my son in his remote learning class, I was processing my thoughts on the previous day. The questions, the thoughtful responses, and the amount of interaction overall were informative. Then it happened. I experienced the value of inclusivity in such a tangible way.
My son, “O”, and a classmate, “J”, were playing a dice game. It was part luck and part strategic. I was a bit worried about this game as my seven-year-old thinks very differently than most kiddos. He's an out-of-the-box type guy. Convinced that the game was going to go awry, I was ready to engage. But I decided to see what happened. Well friends, I was mistaken. Their game was an astounding success! Moreover, I hadn’t even realized I was biased. His partner, J, practiced appreciative inquiry without even knowing it. This inclusive seven-year-old utilized strategies I spend most of my time considering with industry leaders! J innately included O in a way that helped them solve some real-life problems. J was very patient and created space for problem solving. When it was clear my son was lost in his thoughts, O’s partner helped to get them back on track by asking simple helpful questions. “O, do you want to try taking your turn now or are you thinking about our next step?” As a result, the Littles finished the dice game first of all the groups! And you know what? It wasn't that hard!
Their success got me pondering: If two seven-year-olds can implement simple, inclusive leadership strategies, so can we! The results are tangible: An inclusive group reveals a fundamental tenet: Diverse input creates diverse problem-solving, helping to advance your culture, people, strategy, and operations. Although there is a paucity of data when researching caregivers in aviation, it’s appropriate to extrapolate that an inclusive operation (with reference to women, minorities and primary caregivers) builds sustainability. It affords an organization several things: A flexible workforce provides a pool of available resources to access on demand, allows increased retention, and a more agile workforce; all drive culture, and culture drives results.
The following Harvard Business Review article explains the direct connections between inclusive leadership and sustainability that companies are searching for when considering building an inclusive culture. Not only are we talking about a global necessity but also a business imperative. It doesn't cost businesses to develop inclusive cultures, it actually builds a better return on investment in people, culture, operations and strategy.
How can organizations become more Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable? What are your solutions? I will keep speaking my truth and encourage Hera’s network to speak theirs!
We will champion this culture change together to gain real results! Thank-you for walking with us at Hera Aviation Group.
Founder & President