TABLE OF DIVERSITY

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Remember the Periodic Table of Elements from Chemistry class? Decide Diversity Founder, Demetria, had the pleasure of majoring in Chemistry for 2.5 years. While she doesn't remember much about the many chemistry classes she took (can you remember if you never really learned it?), she remembers that the Periodic Table of Elements contains elements, their chemical properties, and other important things.

While you may not have majored in Chemistry, you may remember some of the elements like Oxygen (chemical element O). Oxygen is important! We need oxygen to survive, the world needs oxygen! Hydrogen is also an important element. We need to know how hydrogen exists in the world and how living organisms use hydrogen. But we can't stop there!

Just as pertinent is the unique combination of the elements Oxygen and Hydrogen. When we combine these elements, we can get water or H2O. When chemical elements come together, they create unique compounds that need to be dissected and understood.

 
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CHANGING HOW WE THINK ABOUT DIVERSITY

Why don't we think about diversity the same way?

We need to understand the experiences of people who identify with the diversity element Bl (Black). We need to understand the experiences of people who identify with the diversity element Tr (Transgender). It is equally important to understand the experiences of people who identify with both Bl & Tr diversity elements. Just as chemical elements change when combined, people who identify with multiple marginalized, oppressed, and underrepresented elements experience the world and workplace differently! Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term Intersectionality as a way to describe how people who identify with multiple marginalized identities experience the world. The Table of Diversity is a tool to help us understand the plethora of identities we have, their relationship to one another, and the experiences we have as a result.

WHAT IS YOUR DIVERSITY FORMULA?

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We all have one! What's yours? Your Diversity Formula is just like your DNA, special only to you! Forget the stereotypes! Forget the sweeping categorizations! Let's get back to the basics of diversity: Individuality and Uniqueness! Your Diversity Formula is a great way to share your individuality with your colleagues or leader. The Table of Diversity provides us with the first steps in bringing our entire selves to work.

INTERSECTIONALITY

Today’s version of diversity covers, among many other things: gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and veteran status. Everyone fits nicely into these groups. According to statistical reports, people fit into only one of these categories at a time. We compare men to women, white people to people of color, and cis gender and straight to LGBTQ. What happens when people identify with more than one of these groups? Business leaders have traditionally assumed that every person who identifies with one of these groups experiences the world and workplace similarly. However, people are complex and rarely identify with only one group. It’s time to expand our definition of diversity and get back to its roots: uniqueness and individuality

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