In today’s times, it’s imperative that organizations consider diversity and inclusion efforts. But are we even on the same page with what those words really mean? According to Joe Gerstandt, organizations create beautiful statements of commitment towards diversity and inclusion yet don’t have clear, concise definitions of either word.
Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. He has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. Joe believes we can ill afford to apply a 20th century approach to a critical set of 21st century issues.
In today’s interview, we find out why Joe is so passionate about diversity and inclusion, he defines diversity and inclusion for us and explains why developing a common language is critical. He tells us why we should let our freak flags fly, what disagreement done well means, and mentions wonderful resources for uncovering our own biases.
Plus, you must check out the videos he has on his resources page. His videos are an amazingly real depiction of the many complications we run into working with each other because well, as Joe says we’re all different.
Interview highlights (with timestamps):
- [4:18] What got Joe interested in diversity and inclusion
- [7:45] Why diversity and inclusion are often misunderstood
- [11:10] How we may be misusing the word “diversity” and how he defines “inclusion”
- [14:33] Where organizations are missing the mark
- [17:09] The risks of letting your freak flag fly
- [20:30] Our biases and a tool to consider using
- [30:20] Is there harm when we put people in categories?
Mentioned in this episode:
Joe’s website: https://www.joegerstandt.com/
Margaret Heffernan’s TED talks:
Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts.
Joe has worked with Fortune 100 corporations, small non-profits, government entities, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits, and is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum. His insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, numerous other print and on-line journals, and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.
Joe serves on the Intersectional Culture and Diversity Advisory (ICD) Council for the social networking platform, Twitter, and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University and then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. He then made a career change and went to work for a grassroots non-profit organization, and this is where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion and then became actively involved in that work.
Today, Joe believes that we can ill afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues. A strong advocate for resetting the diversity and inclusion conversation, Joe sees diversity and inclusion as poorly understood and often misunderstood. His keynote messages and interactive workshops bring greater clarity, action, and impact to existing and new organizational diversity & inclusion efforts.