Minimization is a significant systemic barrier to building inclusive organizations. In our Cultural Competence an unconscious bias work, bci teaches extensively on Minimization and its effects: how it manifests in the work environment, how it affects the retention and advancement of women and diverse professionals, and how to address it at the individual and organizational level. At the Professional Development Consortium (PDC) Summer Conference in San Francisco, California, Ritu discussed Minimization in her plenary keynote, “The Leadership Fallacy: Deconstructing Skills, Behaviors, and Barriers.” This keynote addressed one of the most entrenched results of Minimization in the workplace: the expectation that women and diverse individuals should adopt behavioral sameness and conformity in order to advance within organizations.
“The root of the Leadership Fallacy is the belief that success and leadership ability look one way. That to be successful, we must embody the same types of behaviors.” – Ritu at PDCThis “one way” is the result of an unwritten set of preferred behaviors that we believe exhibit leadership ability. We may call this meritocracy, but the reality is that this form of Minimization builds significant barriers for individuals whose behaviors do not match those of the dominant cultural group – resulting in a particularly adverse impact for women and diverse professionals.
As we work to build inclusive environments and attract an increasingly diverse pipeline, it is imperative that organizations recognize the multiple ways of behaving that demonstrate leadership skills. Click here to watch Ritu explain The Leadership Fallacy.