Reads that can take DEI initiatives to the next level

Unconscious bias is just one DEI-related issue that has a big impact in the workplace (Getty Images/LWA/Dann Tardif)

The words diversity, equity and inclusion (often referred to as DEI) are becoming synonymous with vision, mission and values ​​in corporate settings across the globe.

For organizations that want to ensure their DEI initiatives are impactful, there are now plenty of resources they can use to inform and guide their approach. Here are seven of the best.

THE LEADER’S GUIDE TO UNCONSCIOUS BIAS
By Pamela Fuller, Mark Murphy and Anne Chow

In this book, leading experts from management services firm FranklinCovey provide clear guidance into the complexities of unconscious bias, its impact in the workplace and the journey for overcoming it.

The guide describes the unconscious bias as something that is part of the human condition, rooted in an individual’s likes and dislikes. More than 30 tools and activities are included to help everyone overcome unconscious bias and practice empathy, curiosity and understanding.

DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE: EYE-OPENING INTERVIEWS TO JUMPSTART CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IDENTITY, PRIVILEGE, AND BIAS
By Bärí A. Williams

In a series of 25 interviews, individuals share their stories of workplace inequity and discrimination and their fight for equality.

The book emphasizes that creating an inclusive work environment requires companies and their people to understand the unique experiences of their employees, be they related to race, gender, religion, culture, LGBTQ2S+, age and ability.

Each section concludes with summaries that encourage reflection and action. Tips are also provided to help readers engage in meaningful dialogues and address barriers such as unconscious bias.

DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST-PERSON STORIES FROM THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Edited by Alice Wong

Award-winning writer, editor, disability activist and consultant Alice Wong noted the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with this anthology, which illustrates the complexities of the experience of those with disabilities while spotlighting their talents, passions and day-to-day realities, too.

Wong—who is also the founder of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to advocating for people with disabilities—encourages readers to question their own understanding of disability, while providing insight into the movement.

BIRDS OF ALL FEATHERS – DOING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION RIGHT
By Michael Bach

In this book, award-winning Canadian author Bach presents the imperative for workplaces to embrace and enact diversity and inclusion efforts—with practical steps to do so.

As founder of the Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion with more than 20 years of diversity and inclusion consulting, Bach takes the complexity out of the process. He shows that regardless of sector, there is always a business case for investing in diversity and inclusion—and it’s an investment that is bound to strengthen an organization and its workforce, leading to measurable success.

WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT THAT AT WORK! HOW TO TALK ABOUT RACE, RELIGION, POLITICS, AND OTHER POLARIZING TOPICS
By Mary-France Winters

Here the author breaks down the barriers of taboo topics, showing readers how to effectively engage in these conversations in order to forge more inclusive and safe organizations for all employees.

Avoiding these conversations is tantamount to willfully ignoring important issues and risks creating a divisive workforce where productivity, engagement, retention and teamwork suffers, Winters says.

Exercises, tools and a final self-assessment are provided to help readers recognize how their cultural background influences their points of view, responses and habits while also helping them understand the cultural experiences and differences of others around them.

ALLIES AT WORK: CREATING A LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER INCLUSIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT
By Dr. David M. Hall

This book is an informative guide for making a workplace truly equitable for all employees, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Dr. David Hall, an award-winning diversity trainer and professor, unravels why developing strong allyship programs for those in the LGBTQ2S+ community is good for business, the steps needed to do so, and the cultural understanding required to get them right. Hall’s personal reflections take the book from a practical guide to a heartfelt read.

BELONGING: THE KEY TO TRANSFORMING AND MAINTAINING DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND EQUALITY AT WORK
By Sue Unerman, Kathryn Jacob and Mark Edwards

Based on more than 200 interviews with global businesses about the benefits of diverse workplaces, this book calls on leaders to analyze their own behaviour, join the conversation and become agents of change.

The book includes action-based takeaways to encourage change, including how to launch effective DEI initiatives, build an agile and engaged workforce, and become comfortable with tough conversations.

KEEP READING

Learn more about what it takes to create a more inclusive workplace, what to know about pronoun etiquette and how to be an ally at the office.

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