Susana Rinderle

The Problem With You vs. Them

It starts out with good intentions to celebrate diversity, ensure equity and practice inclusive leadership. You implement employee resource groups for historically underrepresented groups like LGBTs, start a mentoring program for women of color, and equip leaders to coach millennials…

Cliches Weaken Feedback: Choose Words Wisely!

I’m guessing you’ve heard this phrase before. Either it came out of someone else’s mouth, or you said it: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”  I’m also guessing you know what follows the “but”: an awkward cliché or unflattering…

To Assimilate, or Not to Assimilate

I recently had lunch with a dear friend and colleague who used to be my mentee in a former role.  We celebrated his recent professional success, caught him up on mine, and explored next steps after he completes his master’s…

Should White People Do Diversity Work?

As a multilingual, culturally and racially ambiguous woman who’s been doing some form of diversity work for almost 25 years, I occasionally find myself having awkward conversations with potential clients about my identity. These conversations involve questions like, “Are you…

'No Labels' is Part of the Problem

American rapper and activist Prince Ea’s spoken-word piece “I Am NOT Black, You Are NOT White” is a gorgeous work of art with a powerful message: We are not our labels. We are not the terms that society assigns us.…

Bigotry, Bullying and San Bernardino

Our nation just experienced yet another mass shooting — the worst since Sandy Hook. Immediately, the media turned to terrorism as a possible cause, as the two main shooters were Muslim and one of them declared allegiance to ISIS shortly…

Breaking Binaries: Why Allyship Is Essential

It was three days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. A transgender friend posted on Facebook: “WTF is with all y’all straight and cis folks making rainbow and trans flag profile pics? Don’t you already have everything…

Women, Stop Apologizing So Much

I notice it most when I’m traveling for business. Whether it’s navigating airport security, negotiating a crowd of wanderers, ordering food, squeezing into an airplane seat, accessing the overhead bin, or trying to pass a slow walker on the ramp…

Set Training Up for Success

I work almost exclusively with adults, but it wasn’t always that way. A challenge that often shows up in my work with adults is a species of self-criticism that I don’t see as much in children. There’s a weird expectation…

Don’t Believe in Change? Step Aside

I believe we can end racism, sexism and all other -isms. I believe we can create a world where everyone experiences respect and dignity and can realize the fullness of their gifts for their own health and happiness as well…

6 Reasons to Not Say ‘Caucasian’

Much has been made about how to refer to members of racial and ethnic groups of color in the United States — even how to refer to people in color in general. I myself have researched and written quite a…

3 Surprising Reasons Diversity Training Fails

One of the most common requests that companies like mine receive from organizations is to do training. When done right and well, training increases knowledge, builds awareness and teaches effective behaviors. When done wrong or poorly, training is a waste…

Focusing on Racists Perpetuates Racism

Donald Sterling is in the news — a name I didn’t know until a few weeks ago, although I’m a Los Angeles native and have seen the Clippers play live. As a diversity and inclusiveness practitioner I’ve been asked what…

Four Steps to Achieve Inclusiveness

The new year is an ideal time to reflect on past triumphs and tribulations, and set the course for the days and months to come. Thoughtful attention to language is a critical way we create reality and set the stage…

Who Is Included in Inclusion?

I was on the phone with a potential client discussing a possible keynote address I’d give at a corporate conference on women’s leadership. My contact was cordial and enthusiastic, but I wasn’t surprised when she asked me, a bit awkwardly,…

Make Sure You're Prepared for the D&I Journey

Picture this:  You’re personally committed to diversity and inclusiveness. You have a few allies in the C-suite. You’ve just returned from an eye-opening, inspiring conference with the fervor of the converted, eager to report back to the CEO who sent…

The Greatest Threat to D&I: Binary Thinking

One of the most sinister and ongoing threats to D&I progress may not be what you think. It’s not lack of funding, lack of senior leadership buy-in, discrimination, hate groups or a particular political party. It’s binary thinking. Binary thinking…

Cultural Competence: What’s in a Name?

Some believe that words are mere descriptors of reality, but there is evidence that words also create reality. Scholars such as Benjamin Lee Whorf, and more recently George Lakoff and Lera Boroditsky, (also here) make a compelling case for the…

Is Our Goal Equality or Equity?

On Aug. 28, we will mark 50 years since the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. With the recent not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman for having shot…