• Yes, Lena having clarity about expectations with regards to culture — and communicating them and holding people accountable — is key. Too many leaders and organizations are overly timid about this. If an employee is neither willing nor able to support the objectives and goals of the organization (after an opportunity to learn and adjust), they aren’t a fit to work there.

  1. Thank you for this post. I especially appreciate your focus on resistance in the enterprise to inclusiveness, excellence and change. This is the major reason women and people of color often leave organizations.

    A few questions for an enterprise to ask:
    1. Where’s your diversity? If the only person of color in leadership is in the diversity office, you have a problem. (In some ways, this is similar to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s where most Black people get stuck – whether the Dems or the GOP are in power. Look at the current occupant – a surgeon with no housing experience.)

    2. What are your unspoken expectation of candidates bringing diversity to the enterprise? Too often African Americans and other people of color face higher expectations than their White (especially White male) colleagues. We’ll know when we have full equality when a company hires as many mediocre Black women as mediocre White men… That said, the flip side is challenging too: I’ve been criticized by White male peers for working too hard on a job. Really.

    3. Hiring is one thing, retention another. What are you doing to ensure successful retention? Lots to be said here, but a key element is gathering info to assess work and role satisfaction — including thorough exit interviews.

    Thanks again for your post.

    • Hello! Thank you so much for your feedback and additions. I have an entire list of questions for orgs to ask to assess their toxicity to excellence, if you’re interested. Your question #2 is one I hadn’t thought of, and it’s really important! Women and people of color often have to work twice as hard to be seen as half as good, and we often burn out because we’re asked to be on every task force and special project requiring a “diverse” perspective. I had not heard of a woman/person of color being criticized for working too had, fascinating! Thank you.

      • Hi there. I’d love to have a copy of your list of questions referenced above. If you don’t mind sharing, I can be reached at Carla.lario@dph.ga.gov. Thanks!

        • Sure Carla! I will email you. Meanwhile, you can access it on my website susanarinderle.com (the list is contained in the free guide “5 Proven Strategies to Guarantee Your Diversity Initiative Produces Results” that you can download once you sign up for my e-news).

      • Oh, I’d love to see them! As well, you’re spot on about the many extras women and people of color are expected to bring to an organization and to their movement up the career ladder. I wish these kinds of unspoken but quite real responsibilities were externalized to better assess them and the folks who bring them (and, of course, with an aim to make them specific to the position, not the person holding it — and remunerated, too).

        BTW – an article on how the diversity and inclusion positions can be a dead end (unless, of course, the role reports directly to the CEO/top dog) would be great to read. Curiously, you never see White men covet that position as a way into the C-suite. Just sayin.

        As for the working too hard — I thought it was unusual, too, until I saw of list of challenges Black women face in the workforce — and it was on there! I didn’t feel so alone.

        Again, thanks for your work. I look forward to reading more of it.


        • Hi Angela! Thank you for the additional feedback, as well as the article suggestion. I just put that idea into my queue — I don’t recall having seen a piece on that, and I can certainly speak to it (having been there myself.)

          Is the list of challenges Black women face on the Internet, or do you have it handy? I’d love to report it on my social media feeds. I say amen to anything that makes us feel less alone!

          Regarding the list of questions to asses toxicity — you can access it on my website susanarinderle.com (the list is contained in the free guide “5 Proven Strategies to Guarantee Your Diversity Initiative Produces Results” that you can download once you sign up for my e-news). I can also email you if you provide me with your email address.


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