“When I talk about fluff inclusion, I’m talking about inclusion where all of a sudden, the business decides, let’s have a harmony day once a year. That’s fantastic, but what about all the other days of the year?”
Enough is enough!
“I came to a point in my life when this was said out loud. I was thinking about it and then I said it. I’ve had enough of racism impacting my life, in my career. It has been going on for so long that I made a conscious decision and I said, enough is enough. I’m not going to allow racism to define or ruin my life anymore.”
Gloria Tabi is a black African-Australian woman. She was born in Ghana, on the West Coast of Africa and came to Australia after high school because she wanted to live somewhere where she could go to university. She is an author, researcher, Managing Director of Everyday Inclusion, founder of the Voice Everyday Racism Podcast and President of the Parent and Citizen (P&C) Association for the last two years.
Throughout her community involvement she has felt very included, wanted and part of something that is really important. However, the opposite occurred in her places of work. A black woman in a professional environment is viewed differently, not because we want to view them differently, but because society has created this culture for us to think about black women that way.
Click here to learn what research has revealed about why Gloria felt included with her involvement with the P&C but her experience in the workplace was very different.
There are three main developments which have emerged in Gloria’s life and guided everything she does and they are — courage, compassion and confidence. Courage to deal with her own trauma of workplace racism and harassment and moving on to establishing the Voice Everyday Racism Podcast. Gloria figured that if a strong, resourceful and educated black woman like herself could be derailed by racism and microaggression in the workplace, then surely there will be other people who are worse off than her.
Through her work at Everyday Inclusion Gloria helps cultivate a workplace where everyone feels they belong, as well as perform and be their very best self. Inclusion is not an initiative. It is not something that has a start and a finish date. It is an ongoing strategy and business goal that needs to be revisited, analysed, implemented and reviewed. This is how inclusion becomes the very fabric of an organization. “When I talk about fluff inclusion, I’m talking about inclusion where all of a sudden, the business decides, let’s have a harmony day once a year. That’s fantastic, but what about all the other days of the year?” she says.
Have you read: Is a Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Important? Erica Johnson
Research tells us that race and racism is the strongest category of all the differences that we have in society. We need to dismantle the systems that have been created a very long time ago and continue to perpetrate these inequalities. Racism is a system issue and in order to change systems in a way that will actually stick, we need to understand what racism is.
If inclusion is what you want for your business, then Gloria’s advice is to look beyond unconscious bias and look at something with substance that would deliver the changes that you require for your business. Gloria’s research specializes in social analysis on race, social inequalities and anti-racism and she is passionate about supporting businesses to create an environment where everyone can thrive and feel safe at work. The no-fluff workplace inclusion process involves the Three A’s:
- Assessment – have a look at systemic issues within your organization.
- Announce – make a public announcement to your staff about where your organization is going to be heading.
- Act – walk through the challenges and gaps of the issues that you have identified, and you then make it happen.
The complete interview can be listened to here, on audio platforms, or watched here, on The Culture of Things (TCoT) YouTube channel.