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D&I - Social, Not Just Race and Gender

When we talk diversity and inclusion, we talk mostly about race and gender. But social class also needs to be considered. The simple fact is that race, gender, and social class all play a part in making someone feel included.

For example, I grew up in what I would describe as a lower, middle-class family. We were fortunate for what we had and my parents worked hard, but I didn't get a lot of experiences that other kids got. I went to public schools and didn't get a ton of opportunities to expand beyond my world.

When I got to college - a private college in an urban area, it was different for me. I was surrounded by students who went to private school their entire life, came from different environments, and had many different experiences than me. I can recall one time someone even asked me how I managed to get into that college considering I had only gone to a public school.

So when someone starts in the organization, don't assume class issues aren't at play. It may be that someone has never been to a fancy restaurant or never been on a golf course. Part of inclusion is being sure that you are being fair to everyone, which requires you to know them as people.

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