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Discussion on: What Makes an Environment Inclusive?

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dylanlacey profile image
Dylan Lacey

For me, an inclusive environment is one where, even if you're the only person of a certain "kind", you feel like you belong.

It expresses itself in different ways to different people. As a gay man I don't like when people assume my partner is a woman. As an Australian I'm OK with lighthearted teasing about Australia... But only if I can do lighthearted teasing of US culture as well.

As a grown adult I like to be able to swear... But I'm sure people of faith would prefer I don't blaspheme. Some people have preferred gender pronouns. People with food intolerances or requirements would like if catered meals were catered with them in mind.

The most challenging thing is that it's an active work. You need to identify the belonging needs of those who you work with and those you don't, and try to make those happen. You also have to deal with people in privileged positions who might interpret attempts to include others as a loss to themselves. You need to keep re-evaluating how you're going and what you can do better.

(Some things I've felt personally excluded by, just to give some concrete info to this post:

  • A plethora of activities held at HQ and almost nothing for remote workers or satellite offices
  • "Family" being used to mean "Parent/s and underaged children" exclusively
  • "We can't implement #{benefit} in #{region} because it'd be hard."
  • Prizes or gifts for competitions/performance with gendered components)
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kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett  Author

I love this. All of it.
I would love to see all these points solved, and I think it can definitely be done with some mindfulness. 💛

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annarankin profile image
Anna Rankin

"For me, an inclusive environment is one where, even if you're the only person of a certain "kind", you feel like you belong."

This really resonated with me. I've been an "only" in situations where this was true and not true. Thanks as well for your examples!

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