Truth from the Diversity Trenches

"Truth from the Diversity Trenches"

Truth from the Diversity Trenches  Why is it so difficult for us to discuss Race in America?  Corporate America began working on Diversity & Inclusion in 1980, just after the publication of the Hudson Institute Report.  That report told us that there would be a change in the demographics of the labor force, with more diversity and less white males.  We stepped up to the plate and began the journey to understand our differences.  Since 1980 we have implemented elegant strategies, imposed new laws, paid huge fines for indiscretions, trained countless numbers in diversity awareness, applied metrics where we could find them, won awards for our efforts, been listed as the Best Company to work for, named as the benchmark company to follow, and yet,…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.



Did you know that there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible variations to solving the rubik cube. That is 43 quitllion, 252 quadrillion, 3 trillion, 274 billion, 489 million+ variations. (source: These numbers can only be calculated by a super computer, in n-dimensional hyperspace. In other words, the human mind cannot possibly comprehend or grasp the vastness of that challenge. I believe the same is true of the complex challenges we face when trying to crack or remove the glass ceiling for diverse groups. There are just as many variables. One of the variables that is not given enough attention on our Diversity & Inclusion journey are the glass walls we raise within and between groups. We cannot focus our energy fully on the glass ceiling because…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Glass Ceiling, Unconscious Bias.


"FORGET THE GLASS CEILING…at least for now"

We have been working on the challenges of breaking the Glass Ceiling for many years and yet, I am sure you would agree, we are still a long way from having achieved our goals. I want to suggest another frontier that I believe will offer an accelerated route to breaking through the glass ceiling. Remove the GLASS WALLS and the Glass Ceiling will crack faster. If you think about the architectural structure of a building you would normally build the walls first and then add the ceiling/roof. Conversely, if you were to dismantle that building you would take off the roof and then remove the walls. On the other hand, if you wanted faster progress, removing the walls first would certainly bring the ceiling tumbling…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion, Glass Ceiling, Unconscious Bias.

To bail out or not to bail out, that is the question?

"To bail out or not to bail out, that is the question?"

With so many groups asking for a bail out, I am frequently being asked whether I think Corporations will bail out on their Diversity Initiatives? One argument put forward in the conversation is that the economy is so bad that of course companies will be cutting back and diversity training will be the first to go. The other argument is that with the Inauguration of Barack Obama, our first African American President, that the spotlight will intensify on diversity. The Inauguration and the state of the economy notwithstanding, Global inclusion and diversity are not going away and in fact, the smart companies know that it will be more imperative than ever for them to manage their diverse workforce to maximize productivity and profits. Multi-cultural marketing…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.

The illusion of moving beyond

"The illusion of moving beyond"

Achieving global inclusion and understanding diversity is a journey and not an end point. Nowhere was this more evident than in the recent USA Election Primary Season. Race, Gender, Age, Religion, Culture, Ethnicity were very much present in the day to day discussions between the candidates, the supporters and the media. Candidates have spent time and money persuading us to vote for them and while we want them to talk about issues, THE ISSUE, keeps tripping them up. Corporations have spent millions of dollars doing diversity work and yet the issues persist; resentments, prejudice, biases are alive and not well. Leakage will always occur when unresolved issues are living under the surface. The answer is both simple and at the same time complex and challenging….

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.

The Diversity Challenge – an innovative new approach

"The Diversity Challenge – an innovative new approach"

Are you looking for something new and innovative to introduce to your employees and your leadership team? Something that will put a twinkle in their eyes, add fun and a competitive edge to their work on diversity and inclusion? Stop them from saying “we’ve already done diversity”! I was in Sydney, Australia in July 2007 and found the best product I have ever seen on Diversity and Inclusion. It is really well done; well researched and always kept up to date. It provides Diversity Managers with all of the tools they need to inspire involvement and change in their organization. What is this product? It is “The Diversity Challenge” and I am the USA and UK representative for this product. If you would like to…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.

Engaging White Women

"Engaging White Women"

Have you ever wondered if there is a hierarchy of biases? Do you think there are groups that find it easier to communicate with each other and groups that think there is little hope of authentic conversation and clear understanding? Do you sometimes wonder how people can be so blind to the issues? I recently facilitated a wonderful workshop called “Engaging White Women”. The workshop was designed to improve understanding between white women and Women of Color, particularly between Black and White women. We had an amazing experience together and one of the things we discussed was that the tensions between black and white women goes pretty much unnoticed in Corporate America (expect by the women directly affected, and in particular, by black women). Why…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion, Glass Ceiling.

10 tips to improve diversity training

"10 tips to improve diversity training"

Ensure commitment and involvement from the Leadership team Conduct a cultural audit to determine what issues need addressing Conduct focus groups with homogenous groups (not heterogeneous groups) Provide cultural audit results and involve the leadership in developing a strategic approach to creating an inclusive work environment Use a well established and reputable diversity consulting expert to design, develop and implement your diversity training. You can use internal facilitators later. Ensure that the diversity training is clearly aligned to the findings from the cultural audit and is congruent with your goals for an inclusive environment Use an experiential learning model for diversity workshops and not power point and lecture. Avoid the sheep dip approach to training and offer more than 2 hour modules replete with power…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.

3 Tips for successful mentoring across cultures

"3 Tips for successful mentoring across cultures"

Mentoring across gender and across cultural differences can have hidden challenges. It is natural to want to mentor people in our own image, but it is important to realize that when you are mentoring someone of a different Race, Ethnicity or Gender that you need to take account of that difference. 1. Have an open discussion about cultural differences as part of the mentoring process.2. Be willing to learn about your mentee’s world and really hear their perspective3. Understand the culturally different values that your mentee brings to the table. Contact me at for more information.

Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Diversity & Global Inclusion.

6 secrets to achieving global inclusiveness

"6 secrets to achieving global inclusiveness"

If you want to be sure that the dollars you spend on global inclusiveness and diversity are well invested you should 1. Ensure commitment and involvement of your senior leadership 2. Conduct a cultural audit using an external consulting firm to determine what issues really need to be addressed 3. Only conduct global inclusiveness training if it is a direct need from the cultural audit and is customized to fit your culture. 4. Avoid sheep dipping – ensure that the change management goals and the diversity training are congruent and that your employees can see evidence that you are serious about changing the culture. 5. Ensure that you remain sensitive to the needs of each global region 6. Ask tough questions about what the dominant…

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Posted by Dr. Helen Turnbull in Cultural Audits.