I’ll start this post off by telling you this has been a tough week for me. Most people saw the “Becky Willis: Professional” who had a smile on, was networking, was building career opportunities, was laughing with co-workers, was answering phones during high volume hours, was pulling data quickly, and was spur-of-the-moment costume changing for a co-op work group off-site meeting. Few of you saw ‘Becky’, but she’s trying to make a comeback. I had the pleasure to attend a Chatham Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship breakfast that was enlightening and motivating last Friday morning. I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts on the event with you; however, my heart has been heavy because I’ve been wondering if the ‘Becky’ is the ‘Becky’ the world really needs to see. My reflection on Candi Castleberry-Singleton‘s “Making the Workplace a Better Place for All-With All of Our Differences” will hopefully engage and inspire you like it did for me, and help us all live in a world where there is dignity and respect.
Candi Castleberry-Singleton inspired me last week. She spoke from her heart, and although she integrated some lessons she’s learned as UPMC’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, her words and goals for the world we live in are what meant the most to me. The overarching theme of the morning was that we need to have diversity and respect.
There are many definitions for diversity, and Candi even noted that it’s not a global word. Regardless of how we define diversity (and inclusion), it doesn’t matter. “What matters is how the people feel” and if the company (or people around them) are committed to it. This got me thinking – you hear diversity and acceptance a lot, but are we really there?
We’ve been given this day to use as we will. You can waste it or use it for good. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, just like every day. Let it be something good.
- Get new friends.
- Listen without comparing.
- Take it. Self, partner, kids, work, community. We are all responsible.
The main takeaway was that we have to build dignity and respect to live in a truly diverse and inclusive world. My thoughts around Candi’s speech are nowhere near as eloquent and moving as she put them; however, I hope they’ve made some sense. Greg and I want to be sure our kids are aware that yes, they are different; however, that doesn’t make them wrong or that people should treat them any differently because of it. Let’s hope we can succeed at this challenge.