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Diversity & Inclusion isn't just an internal issue

Recently, I attended the Out & Equal conference virtually. There was a great deal of conversation and valuable insights into the world of D&I as it pertains to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. However, what continues to stand out to me is a failure to grasp that one cannot be included inside when they are excluded outside.

Nothing manifests this more for me than the HRC Corportate Equality Index. This index rates the policies and practices of US corporations in regards to their 2SLGBTQ+ associates, but does it in isolation. In other words, it only looks at what happens inside the walls, not what the company is doing outside of them. That is a problem. Many on this list get glowing marks that they can tout on their websites and recruiting material, but their public practices in relation to sponsorships of politicians and political groups belie the inclusion.

I liken this very much to the idea of wealthy people donating to charities while continuing to create the conditions that lead to the need for that charity in the first place. At the end of the day, you aren't being progressive, you're just trying to ease your conscience or get better press.

I keep telling people that D&I is a much more holistic necessity. An employee in a company that is funding their harm politically is never going to feel included or safe. Can you imagine being a trans person in a company that has given money to help elect Abbott in Texas? It doesn't matter what happens inside the walls, a man seeking to genocide trans people has been enabled. You can't feel safe with that, it's impossible.

I am struggling to see value in corporate D&I as a result. It feels hollow to me, a gesture easily discarded for the benefit of shareholders and corporate interest. 

I was naive once, about this, much less so now. That saddens me.


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