A Diversity and Inclusion Conversation with Expert Julie Kratz
For our February theme of diversity and inclusion, we sat down with an expert, Julie Kratz, to learn why she started Pivot Point and why the gender equality in leadership conversation is significant for diversity and inclusion. Julie founded Pivot Point with the vision of changing the world in which her five year old daughter, Jane, will eventually be working.
Julie explains that while many organizations have been championing change in gender equality, unfortunately there are fewer female CEOs at the beginning of 2019 than at this time last year. The research still shows that gender equality will not happen until 2080 and there has been very little positive change since this issue first came into focus.
Julie’s company, Pivot Point, provides tangible strategies, tools, and ideas for women and men to partner together for gender equality and to build winning career game plans. Julie is a sought after speaker, coach, and consultant to support and empower companies to build and grow cultures of gender equality.
Here are a few questions we asked Julie about diversity and inclusion:
Q: Why is diversity and inclusion so important to companies?
A: There is so much data that positively correlates that with diversity, you have better behavior and better financial returns. In order for this to be important for companies or people to take action, they have to connect a personal reason of importance. In my work with male allies, they have a daughter, a wife, or mother who they care about. You have to have a personal reason behind it or behavior won’t change.
Q: What are specific barriers to diversity and inclusion you encounter?
A: The perception that is not a problem - which is why it is still being talked about. Many organizations are unwilling to admit that is a problem and there is a lot of blame shifting that happens. The second issue is that we are accepting slow change and the lack of willingness to change more quickly. There is complacency surrounding the issue and are unsure what to do to solve this issue.
Q: What are some practical tips for encouraging diversity and inclusion within the workplace?
A: It is as easy as getting to know someone different from you. Not just someone that visibly looks different, but it could be someone with a different background. We learn a lot more from people think differently than us. Regardless of your role within an organization, challenge your organization to support diversity and inclusion. Many companies have the resources to support diversity, but do not have the goals or roadmap needed. Finally, speak up for those who are underrepresented in your organization. We all have different pockets of privilege and it is important to encourage and amplify the voices of people who are underrepresented.
For more information about Julie, Pivot Point, resources she’s created on the topic, and her book “One” visit www.nextpivotpoint.com. In the following video, Julie offers ideas for how you and your company can take the first steps toward engaging this conversation.