Stretching Your Equity Work Into An Equity Practice
What gets me excited about my 9am-5pm? Where have I been spending my time and energy? You guessed it – thinking about how to build sustainable equity practices within organizations!
I’ve been advising leaders, coaching staff teams and facilitating sessions aimed at deepening equity work – what I call building an equity practice and I have a new model to share.
Early in the summer I hosted two webinars and invited past and current clients to an unveiling and introduction to the model. The goal of the webinar was to familiarize them with the model, share how I’ve been using it with clients, and obtain their feedback on the model as a tool.
The model borrows the look and feel of a compass, and comprises of four areas that can be explored when developing an equity centred practice. The four directions are: Reflection, Taking Ownership, Centring Empathy, and Act. During the webinar I explained each directional area, and how individuals and teams might create consistent behaviours and practices aimed at embedding equity and inclusion thinking into their day-to-day work.
Webinar participants June 2023
Thanks to the generosity of insights from those that attended the webinars, my thinking has evolved and I am again revising the model based on some of the feedback received. Below is a summary of some of the discussion points that emerged during the session:
Resonance and Usefulness:
Participants shared their thoughts on the model's resonance and usefulness, highlighting its effectiveness in providing a solid grounding and anchor for conversations. The emphasis on Centring Empathy received particular praise, as it encouraged understanding others' experiences, building empathy, and fostering a culture of continuous learning.
Fluidity and Non-Linearity:
The model's non-linear and non-cyclical nature was well-received, as it allowed for organic movement from one point to another based on individual contexts and needs. This flexibility was seen as a strength, enabling organizations to tailor their approach to equity-centric leadership and adapt to diverse scenarios.
Emphasis on Centring Empathy:
Centring Empathy emerged as a crucial theme, with participants recognizing its significance in developing authentic connections and engaging in meaningful action. The importance of embracing discomfort, vulnerability, and compassion was underscored as foundational to creating an inclusive and equitable environment.
Emphasis on Reflection and Learning:
The participants discussed the necessity of finding balance between constant practice and reflection, avoiding urgency while maintaining momentum in their equity-centred efforts. They stressed the significance of setting milestones and evaluating progress to learn from experiences and ensure continued growth.
The model's customizability was widely acknowledged, empowering organizations to tailor their equity-centric approach to fit their specific needs and circumstances. This adaptability was deemed essential in navigating complex and diverse environments.
I really appreciated the conversation and insights shared during the webinar. Participants shared that the model was helpful for themselves and their colleagues as a way to navigate and frame their equity-centred journey. The conversations definitely increased my motivation and curiosity in terms of other applications. As one participant noted, the model provides a grounding and anchor for conversations while allowing individuals to share their personal narratives and examples within the framework.
Webinar participants July 2023
Are you looking to stretch or advance your equity work and build an equity and inclusion practice? I will be hosting additional webinars on this model in the fall, please connect with me if you would like to receive an invitation.