OPENED MY EYES
I still think about the EuroCaucus, it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The environment created and the learning tactics deployed were worlds away from my experience of project management training. There were no tables, no PowerPoint slides and no ‘business casual’ dress restrictions. It opened my eyes to the legitimate and valuable impact white men can have on D&I.
I am always impressed with FDP Global’s ability to understand controversial topics among global settings. The way they tailor their messages to cultural contexts enables leaders to engage openly. I appreciate how they customize the learning experience for disparate global audiences and create safe, non-threatening environments where senior global leaders feel comfortable sharing.
White Men as Full Diversity Partners was a powerful experience! Since my participation, I’ve had many moments of conscious reflection about the need to hold paradoxes in our walk through life. This concept helps me stay open to positive outcomes in cross-racial relations. Another concept at the forefront for me is the powerful use of language, like “white male culture” and how it impacts racism, sexism, and all other –isms. There is much to do in diversity work and WMFDP creates a safe space to explore these concepts and take leadership to make necessary changes. I enjoyed working with others from different organizations, and getting to know my colleagues in richer, deeper ways.
Through its Learning Labs, WMFDP creates a tremendous environment for engaging employees in open, honest, and active conversations about diversity and inclusion. A critical foundation is that diversity is not just based on what someone looks or sounds like, but what someone has experienced.
The Allies Lab I attended was impactful on so many levels. As a black man, it ultimately allowed me to better understand how white men hear and interpret conversations around race. I entered the process a skeptic, I came out completely impressed with the method and manner of the facilitation and outcomes achieved.
WELL WORTH IT
It’s never easy to give up the better part of a work week, but the Learning Lab is well worth it. More than any other training or discussions I have previously participated in, I left this event with a deeper personal understanding of diversity and inclusion issues on both an intellectual and emotional level. More importantly, I left with an improved understanding of how I can be a better leader in a diverse environment. I recommend this for all senior leaders. If you choose to attend, bring an open mind and a willingness to fully participate.
One of the reasons I have attended the White Men & Allies Lab four times is because I come with a team I’m supporting and we continue our partnership after leaving the Lab. We meet together to talk about our learnings and about our action plans, about how we are doing on them and where we need help. I want to know how I can be a resource.
The White Men as Full Diversity Partners experiences are a direct link into how culture and differences affect workplace relationships and personal interactions. Lab discussions are dynamic, and offer creative examples that apply to each individual’s cultural development journey.