Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The GEM philosophy of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the 21st century builds on historical precedents, but also reflects the unique challenges and opportunities presented by our global, interconnected world. This philosophy recognizes the inherent value of every individual and the reality of a world in which diverse perspectives are encouraged to flourish. Here, I outline the key tenets of our organization’s commitment to the potential of all people.*
*The contents are representative of GEM’s current research and positionality. We aim to keep this as a living document that is continually evaluated, updated and applied.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COMPLEXITY
The 21st century brings unparalleled complexity due to globalization,
technological advancement, social interconnectivity, and artificial intelligence.
The inclusive philosophy for this era must not reduce individuals to mere labels,
but should appreciate the multifaceted aspects of identity—gender, race,
socio-economic status, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation.
Understanding diversity thus becomes a process of embracing complexity.
With this in mind, we are not perfect and don’t believe there is a perfect solution.
How we continue to work towards Acknowledgement of Complexity:
Affinity groups: By designing affinity groups for various communities (parents, young adults, gay men, entrepreneurs, and C-Suites) we aim to address the complexity of identity and provide opportunities for members and participants to find support and connection. Our list of affinity groups is ever evolving and we aim to continue building out groups based on interest and need.
Encourage members to seek out multiple sources for support and information: coaches and facilitators provide supplementary websites, articles and recommended readings to foster continued, well-rounded interest on a topic.
COMMITMENT TO EQUITY
Equity aims to provide individuals with the resources and opportunities they need to become aware of and then to realize their full potential. It recognizes that not everyone starts from the same place or has access to the same resources and strives to correct this imbalance now and in the future. In a society increasingly shaped by technology, we must ensure that opportunities for education, employment, and advancement are equally accessible to all, irrespective of background or geographic location.
How we continue to work towards Commitment to Equity:
Scholarship Opportunities: Scholarship opportunities were designed to increase GEM's accessibility and networking resources.
Diverse coaches/facilitators: By paying attention to who we onboard as part of the GEM Team, we aim to increase our collective expertise, guidance and life experiences to share and relate with our members.
Inclusive topics/dialogues: At GEM, we know there are many controversial topics that can come up in coaching. This is why we work with our coaches and facilitators to create safe spaces that open gates to meaningful dialogue and self-expression.
INCLUSION AS AN ACTIVE PROCESS
Inclusion is not a passive state but an ongoing activity. Organizations and societies must continually examine their policies, practices and norms to ensure they are inclusive. This involves not just tolerating differences but valuing them. In the 21st century, digital platforms can serve as powerful tools for inclusion, but can also risk isolating or marginalizing communities. Active measures must be taken to include diverse perspectives in technology design, political decision-making and social narratives.
How we continue to work towards Inclusion as an Active Process:
Regular checkpoints with coaches/facilitators to ensure we’re broadening our community and awareness: Building community amongst our team is very important for alignment and cohesion amongst the work we are doing and messages we share with community members.
Always looking for new classes: By leaving room to provide for the interest of our members, we hope that new classes arise out of interest that will strengthen personal and professional identities, and comradery amongst our network.
Programming available to all age groups: By giving members stretch assignments, they will learn inclusive leadership skills, clear codes of conduct as guidelines and steps for individuals who don’t abide by inclusive philosophy.
In a globalized world, no community exists in isolation. Social justice and equity in one part of the world will have implications elsewhere. Thus, DEI is not just a local or national issue, but a global one. Moreover, because our world is interconnected, the lack of DEI in one area can have cascading effects that impact global stability and well-being.
How we continue to work towards Interconnectedness:
Classes scheduled to promote global dialogue: GEM strives to be a global network and encourage dialogue with insight from varying cultural backgrounds.
Multiple technology: In using an array of technological tools and platforms, we aim to reach people where they are at and provide as much accessibility as possible.
In-person events: By hosting in-person events, GEM works to promote community and encourage networking opportunities.
ADAPTIVE & EVOLVING PHILOSOPHIES
As our understanding of identity and social dynamics evolves, our ability to incorporate differences continues to expand. This philosophy is not set in stone, but is a living framework that adapts to new research, societal shifts and the lived experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
How we continue to work towards an Adaptive & Evolving Philosophy:
Inclusive and researched recommended reading list: GEM works to continue sharing resources and evolving tools with our members to encourage personal and professional development. We also encourage members to share resources with each other.
Reviewing our programming every six-months for relevance based on our mission, and determining modifications: It's important to constantly review our programing to ensure that what we are sharing is aligned with our mission and practices inclusivity.
As technology becomes increasingly integral to our lives, its role in promoting or hindering DEI cannot be ignored. Ethical considerations around data, algorithms, and access must be part of the DEI conversation.
How we continue to work towards Ethical Technology:
Joining the conversation beyond our GEM community: The world is ever evolving and GEM aims to stay relevant with ways we can continue to support our members.
Creating discussion within the GEM community on origins of AI technology (i.e. who develops it, who it services, who has access): In discussing the rapid evolvements of technology, GEM aims to practice open conversations around its privileges and origins.
Last but not least, DEI and sustainability are closely linked. A truly inclusive approach to social and environmental challenges ensures that solutions are effective, ethical, and have broad social buy-in, thereby contributing to their long-term success.
How we continue to work towards Sustainability:
Strive to incorporate sustainability in all our programming: GEM aims to keep the dialogue around sustainability alive and relevant by bringing in guest speakers and support around a changing natural world.
Remote, paperless resources, minimal carbon footprint: By exchanging information and resources digitally, GEM works to reduce its carbon footprint.