Diversity, Inclusion and Equity - What do they really mean?

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity aren’t brand-new issues; these have managed to persevere through decades! However, their meanings have changed over time. Traditionally, the issue was considered equivalent to “social responsibility” and relevant only to the “social performance” of a company. It promoted a passive approach to diversity, that of being blind to individual differences. However, now it encourages acknowledging, celebrating and leveraging differences among people and it is accepted to be critical to a company’s overall business strategy and health.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity- What is the difference?

Diversity implies a mix of differences within a setting. It may refer to individual differences (e.g. personality) or group-social differences (e.g. social status). Differences can take several forms- a diverse workplace may entail dissimilar identities, or it may broadly indicate a diversity of thought, opinions, experiences (or even just clothing!) The “diversity” that is most commonly referred to in the media recently has to do with underrepresented races, genders, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, age, etc. These protected classes are often discriminated against in the workplace and often lack the opportunities & resources readily available to their more privileged counterparts.

Meg Bolger, a social justice facilitator and DIE expert, discussed the meaninglessness of the phrase: “diverse candidate”; a group, organization or a community can be diverse but not an individual! It is usually only a polite, indirect way of referring to a candidate that belongs to one or more minority groups.

On the other hand, inclusion refers to the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity, in order to increase people’s awareness, knowledge, and understanding of and empathy towards others who differ from them in any way. In other words, inclusion is tied with people being and feeling welcomed, valued and included in an environment.

Note that diversity doesn’t necessitate inclusion; it is possible to have a diverse team with some people not feeling as accepted or significant as others.

This brings us to our next concept- Equity. It implies ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources and that no one is discriminated against. It requires an organization’s ongoing engagement to ensure that those belonging to disadvantaged groups feel equally included, have identical opportunities to grow and receive the same rewards as others.

Although the three concepts differ from each other and one doesn’t guarantee the other, they all go hand in hand and each of them are crucial to many business and workforce outcomes. To be at the top, a modern day organization must approach “unity without uniformity and diversity without fragmentation”!

– Kanchee Desai

National CyberWatch Center Partners with WB&B in Cyber Talent Alliance

Hiring managers and executives alike face a multitude of challenges when developing talent acquisition strategies for cybersecurity teams. To address these challenges, National CyberWatch Center has partnered with WB&B Executive Search to form the 2018 Cyber Talent Alliance.

WB&B has been recognized as the nation’s leading minority-owned executive search firm. Established in 1973, its founding bylaws ensure an inclusive slate of qualified candidates for each client engagement. By partnering with WB&B, National CyberWatch Center hopes to fortify the workforce and enhance talent pipelines for companies, government agencies and others.

Information Security professionals are notoriously hard to find despite their high demand. Add security clearances into the equation, and finding the right person for the job becomes increasingly difficult. Of concern is the scarcity of experienced professionals resulting in a war for talent among companies as well as government sectors. In addition, the pool of qualified professionals for any given opportunity is likely to be homogenous given the relative lack of diversity in the cybersecurity field.

Inclusion provides a multidimensional solution to the workforce shortage. On one hand, an inclusive workforce is accompanied by diversity of thought, enabling organizations to navigate the rapidly evolving threat landscape more effectively. On the other hand, optimizing an inclusive strategy simply means broadening the talent base to include more professionals. This can be accomplished by a) Upscaling resources operating in another function, such as IT or engineering; b) Diminishing reliance on certifications and four-year degrees as major indicators of competency; and c) Investing in apprenticeship programs to bridge the gap.

Together, WB&B and National CyberWatch Center pledged a scholarship to support cybersecurity training for ambitious professionals who have been unable to afford the high costs of entry. Each time a client partners with this coalition to meet immediate needs, they’re investing in the future of the cyber workforce. Cybersecurity is not just a competitive advantage, it’s also a public good. Innovative solutions-coupling talent acquisition with assessment, training and development–are needed to ensure enough experts are around to secure the future.

About National CyberWatch Center:
National CyberWatch Center is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education-funded cybersecurity consortium working to advance cybersecurity education and strengthen the national workforce. Since 2005, National CyberWatch Center has played a key role in developing, promoting and providing cybersecurity education solutions nationally. To learn more, visit https://www.nationalcyberwatch.org.

About WB&B Executive Search:
WB&B Executive Search is the nation’s leading minority-owned search firm. They set the industry standard through a long-term commitment to diverse and inclusive slates of top tier talent for clients. WB&B’s exceptional record of diversity and innovation achievement has been recognized by The White House, FORTUNE, The Wall Street Journal, CRAIN’S, and The Conference Board.

View original article via PRWeb HERE.

WB&B Completes High-Profile Search with The Brookings Institution

Washington, D.C. — Dr. Camille Busette has joined the Brookings Institution, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Busette will serve as director of the Institution’s Race, Place, and Economic Mobility Initiative. She will carry out that role as a senior fellow in Governance Studies with affiliated appointments in Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy.

Throughout her distinguished career, Busette has worked tirelessly to expand financial opportunities for low-income populations. She comes to Brookings from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, where she served as the organization’s lead financial sector specialist. Prior to her tenure at CGAP, Busette was the inaugural head of the Office of Financial Education at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She also previously served as a senior economics policy fellow at the Center for American Progress and as vice president of EARN, a leading provider of micro savings services to low-income families in the U.S.

“We are honored and excited that Dr. Busette will bring to Brookings her commitment, passion, and expertise for improving the lives of under-served communities,” said Talbott.

Darrell West, vice president of Governance Studies, added, “I can think of no one more qualified than Camille Busette to lead Brookings’ efforts to promote ideas that unlock racial and geographic barriers to economic mobility in America.”

As director of the Brookings Race, Place, and Economic Mobility Initiative, Busette will bring to bear her personal expertise as well as the Institution’s strengths—unparalleled convening power, a commitment to rigorous scholarship, and a track record of policy impact—to develop practical solutions to the complex factors that perpetuate inequality of opportunity.

She said, “I am delighted to be joining Brookings in this capacity. The challenges of race and economic opportunity are vexing and complicated and Brookings, with its storied reputation, is the best place to engage a variety of voices in overcoming the barriers to economic mobility confronted by millions of people.”

Busette holds a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. She is a former Ford Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellow.