Today was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I spent some time reflecting on the changes I have seen in the workplace in my 20 years of HSE and HR experience. I am honestly excited about what I have seen and learned. Certainly in the space of diversity, equity, and inclusion, there is much more that can be done. Honestly, work in that area of organizations should never stop. I am, though, pleased with many of the improvements I have seen.
First, I am fortunate to have worked in organizations and with leaders who took DEI seriously. They knew that having different perspectives, thoughts, and backgrounds improved the agility and landscape of the location. I remember hearing once, “diversity is what comes in the door and inclusion is what we do with it.” Basically, they were saying that we can recruit for diversity, but that was not enough. We had to ensure that the voices were heard and accounted for.
When I first entered the world of HSE, personal protective equipment was built for a one-size-fits-all workplace. I am happy to see more and more PPE providers looking for ways to create a better fit for all workers. Again, it is not perfect, and there is a long way to go. It is positive to see that there has been a change. The fact that the manufacturers are thinking about a diverse workplace is encouraging.
I have seen the difference in an organization that prioritizes and values DEI. I am glad that there are more and more discussions at local and national levels on how to improve and accelerate DEI initiatives. On the day when we remember Dr. King, I openly admit that there is much that organizations and individuals can do (obviously myself included), and I am also optimistic that the current and future generations will keep improving.