Day 18 of 21
WORKPLACE CULTURAL COMPETENCE
Cultural competence is the ability to positively and respectfully interact with people across cultures, identities, and communities to achieve a shared goal.
Workplace cultural competence includes culturally respectful policies and procedures and an openness to feedback about how the business can do better for all its employees — to increase job satisfaction, retention, and productivity.
We are all in different places in our equity and cultural competence journey. Explore these resources, and reflect on where you and your workplace are in that journey.
- Identify aspects of workplace cultural competence.
- Learn how a lack of cultural skills can negatively impact the workplace.
- Determine what steps you can take to establish and maintain an inclusive culture in your work environment.
Choose one or more of these daily activities to learn about today’s topic. Plan to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to complete the activities and journal about your thoughts and feelings.
Watch Accenture’s “Inclusion Starts With I” (3:27) to hear from employees about how bias can affect workplace culture and what happens when we all do our part to build a better culture.
Watch the TEDx Talk “Why Corporate Diversity Programs Fail & What to Do Instead” (14:48) from Joan C. Williams about focusing on fixing systems rather than trying to fix people.
Read “Why Cultural Competence Matters to Business” (3 min) from JER HR Group about the impact of cultural competence on the workplace and how management is critical to success.
Listen to “How to Talk About Race at Work” (34:51), an episode of the Harvard Business Review’s Race at Work podcast, to hear Fran Katsoudas, Cisco’s Chief People Officer, discuss racist comments from several Cisco employees days after the murder of George Floyd and the company’s response.
Capture what you learned by writing down your thoughts and feelings about today's content.
- What was your “aha moment” (moment of surprise or new information)?
- Does this information change your perspective?
- How will you use what you learned today to create more equitable spaces?
- Where are you in your personal cultural competence journey?
- Where is your workplace, school, or community in its cultural competence journey?
Additional Resources & Activities
If you would like to dig deeper into this issue, check out these additional resources. We encourage you to revisit this material when you have more time. Feel free to come back to this topic as often as you’d like!
- Read “To Build an Inclusive Culture, Start with Inclusive Meetings” (6 min) from the Harvard Business Review, which introduces 3 Cs for inclusive meetings and a checklist to help achieve them.
- Read “The Bias of 'Professionalism' Standards” (11 min) from the Stanford Social Innovation Review for a breakdown of the coded language we use in business that privilege white employees and are based in white supremacist culture.
- Read “How to Begin Talking About Race in the Workplace” (6 min) from The Wharton School to learn about the RACE framework to facilitate conversations about race at work.
- Listen to “Creating a Safe Workplace” (38:13), an episode of the Harvard Business Review’s Race at Work podcast, to hear Anne Chow, the first woman of color to become CEO of AT&T, discuss her 30-year history with the organization and how she believes unconscious bias is rooted in racism.
- Read “One Black employee’s answer to 'How can I help?'” (18 min) from Culture Amp for an extensive list of ways to support your Black employees and colleagues, as well as links to resources for further exploration.
- Read “4 Ways To Respect The Needs Of Employees With Disabilities” (6 min) from Forbes to learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act, how to improve your workplace for employees with disabilities, and how your company can benefit from it.
Share your reflections on today’s topic on social media using the hashtag #IowaEquityChallenge.
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