Diversity and The Hidden cost

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Hello everyone, my name is Emily Rangel and I am a student at California State University Monterey Bay CSUMB. I am currently going into my senior year and working as an NPC intern through my field training program in Collaborative Human and Health Services.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! To begin this week, I would like to discuss diversity! I’m sure we can all agree diversity in the professional world has been a long-time goal. Many organizations are still breaking through to achieve an inclusive, diverse board, staff, and leaders. I stumbled on this article The Hidden Cost of DEI Work—And What to Do About It by Andrea J Rogers and Tiloma Jayasinghe; these incredible women doing a great job explaining the difficulty of diversifying an organization; they cover expected cost, hidden cost, the toll it takes on BILPOC leaders and how to offer recommendations for the process.

Reading the article caught me slightly off guard. I never associated a cost with diversity. However, now that I read the article, I understand where the cost is coming from and how it’s part of the implementation process. While the concept seems so simple, someone within an organization has to realize they lack diversity. Once this has been realized and the organization begins to open its doors to more diverse staff, there is training; this training focuses on the employees in their new jobs but additionally involves educating current staff about diversity with the goal of ending any racist, sexist or homophobic behavior; at times, organizations might offer training for inspiring a more open-minded and accepting mindset. All the hidden cost is not measured by dollar amount but rather the vulnerability and toll it takes on the staff and leaders implementing diversity. Many leaders who take on roles to help diversify an organization are part of minority groups themselves and fear failing their people. While they want to help educate and bring equality and equity, there is an overwhelming amount of pressure to take on this role to help one’s peers.

Additionally, the vulnerability of those minority groups joining non-diversified organizations could make them feel intimated and unaware of approaching uncomfortable situations. Ultimately, diversity is a Great Leap Forward for organizations since these movements are often led by those who identify in one of the underrepresented groups in the organization. From now on, as an organization continues to grow, take time to acknowledge those affected by the hidden cost it takes to diversify and offer support when needed.

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