Health care leaders know the significant benefits of diversity and inclusivity in a workplace. Yet, despite these benefits, we remain lagging in implementing these initiatives; not that we don’t want to focus on them, but in these trying times, we find ourselves consumed with staffing and supply chain challenges while navigating the turmoil of the pandemic.
As you come up for air and settle into whatever this new normal is, we as leaders must recommit to executing DEI initiatives. As you get started remember that diversity does not have to be just about color, we can be of the same color and be very diverse in education, experience, socioeconomic status, culture and so much more!
It would help if you considered fostering DEI-safe spaces whether your team is colorful or homogeneous.
If you have not started, here are some recommendations.
Increase storytelling in your departments.
Carve out time where employees can share their stories with you and each other. This sharing can be in staff meetings, daily huddles or department events. Storytelling not only helps us to connect with our team, but it is an opportunity for staff to release their assumptions and biases. Without engaging in deep conversation, we are left with our own stories about people. This singular one-sided story is what creates stereotypes, and without engaging with others, we are left with this story, the story we make up about others. Having others share their story, whether it be their life journey, their path into radiology, or a significant life event, stories create connections and help remove biases.
Be aware of your own bias. Unconscious bias will grip you.
Our minds are busy, but the unconscious mind help preserve energy by processing information based on prior experience and assumptions. The brain is so efficient that it prefers not to spend time understanding all information in depth. Therefore we don’t spend enough time accurately interpreting what is happening around us. This unconscious bias can negatively influence our thoughts and perception, impacting our leadership.•
Nicole Dhanraj, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, PMP, GPHR, CPSS, CRA, R.T(R)(CT)(MR), is an experienced imaging director.