Antoinette Boateng: Why Authenticity Matters for Diversity & Inclusion

In this episode I’m speaking with Antoinette Boateng. Antoinette is a Global Inclusion Specialist and a 15-year veteran of the “people” space. Antoinette’s experience includes Talent Management, Engagement & Policy.

Antoinette has been responsible for not only starting a number of resource groups but she’s also had to manage and influence multiple resource groups, their sponsors and the people who were running them. I was thrilled to speak with Antoinette so that she could share the benefit of her considerable experience with us.

In today’s show we discuss several things including:

  • The reasons why Diversity & Inclusion being a “small world” causes problems
  • The importance of authenticity to Antoinette’s work
  • Why ethnic based employee resource groups are not supported as much as gender based groups and much, much more

Here’s some of the wisdom that Antoinette shared:

The Need for New Voices in Diversity & Inclusion

Antoinette explains how there are still a relatively small number of people actively working to promote Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace. Antoinette describes how this explains in part, the relatively slow progress that has been made in this area:

“Inclusion is a small crowd and that’s part of the problem”

The Need for a More Intersectional Approach to Diversity

Antoinette suggests that many initiatives intended to promote Diversity & Inclusion benefit a homogenous group of people. She explains why an intersectional approach is important to ensure that Diversity & Inclusion initiatives actually lead to diversity in the workplace:

“It’s not a diverse group of people who are winning, I just think we have to look a lot more at intersectionality when we talk about gender interventions”

Good Position vs. Good Role Model

Antoinette highlights the importance of role models and distinguishes between those individuals that are well positioned within an organisation in terms of their profile or status and those who would make good role models. Antoinette suggests that these two characteristics are commonly mistaken for the same thing:

“People being positioned well in an organisation to effect change is very different to a person being a role model, and I find that I see consistently people making that mistake”

 

SHOW SUMMARY SLIDES

If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about, I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting

THE KEY TAKEAWAY

People being positioned very well within an organisation is not the same as someone being a role model

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

The 30 Per Cent Club

The Davies report

Antoinette’s Linkedin Profile

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