Diversity, Inclusion, and Permission: Three Pillars of Success in the Workplace

Business Elevation Tribe

by Tina Wells

Last week, I had the honor of appearing as a panelist during a conversation about inclusivity at Misha’s Nonoo’s Women on the Go conference. I was joined by a great group of women who had broken barriers and were leading others: Teen Vogue’s editor in chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner; Jolie Hunt-Potter , founder of Hunt & Gather, social media maven Qiana Smith;  De’Ara Balenger, Hillary Clinton’s former director of engagement; and Deidrea Miller, deputy communication director for Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

All shared poignant thoughts about what inclusion means to them in the workplace today. I’ve shared some of my own suggestions on how companies can improve their diversity and inclusion practices in their hiring and internal culture. But the personal anecdotes these women shared about their experiences got me thinking even more. 

Some key takeaways I had included:

• Women of color believe they have to work much harder than their white counterparts, especially white men.

• We all believe we need to move from just being focused on diversity to inclusion and belonging, but we’re stuck on how to get there.

• People want to diversify and expand their networks but they’re not sure how.

• My advice was to focus on one thing and own it; don’t try to be a generalist.

One thing that struck me was this idea around not having permission to fail. These women seemed incredibly stressed out and felt the need to represent all people that looked like them, and felt like they couldn’t make mistakes. 

Have you felt that same pressure of not allowing yourself permission to step out of the expected norms in your career? Whether it’s starting a new business or try a new hobby, have you allowed yourself permission to try, or fail, or succeed? At Elevation Tribe, how should we address this?

We’d love to hear from you. Send us a  DM on our IG at @elevationtrbe or an e-mail at hello@buzzmg.com. We’d love to hear more about what you’re doing to allow yourself the freedom to soar–and how best we at ET can help you do so!