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My body is my own and I do whatever I want with it.
Sun-kissed in Margaux
Once upon a time, in a not-so-faraway world, there was a woman.
Actually, plenty of them. Thousands.
Some of them were oversharing on Instagram and screaming on Twitter. Others were rising stars in the most disparate fields: arts, sciences, fashion, engineering.
There was one thing that brought them together: the burning desire to feel like they could finally have an impact in their respective fields.
Hit by a flower
Feeling powerless is a common state among people of all walks of life, especially those considered as minorities in any given context, be it for the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their religious beliefs and even their country of origin.
And, as you may imagine, feeling like an outsider, with no ability to make an impact whatsoever, is exhausting.
The modern, Western world has gone a long way in terms of openness and dialogue. Yet the right to be heard and seen is still shaky in some countries, in some societies, even in some organizations and fields, still ruled by the white man. Oh, do I love the white man!
White woman. White woman?
While in the United States the topic is hot and social issues like race, LGBTQ+ rights and even religion are, for the most part, acknowledged, I feel like some countries in Europe are very slowly trying to make sense of all the mess.
In fact, you see “the mess” everywhere: on the street, at the bar around the corner, in line at the post office. Just not in organizations.
Truth is: the world as we used to know it has changed, but our bubbles within it have not. The effects of globalization are real and tangible: diversified interests are at stake, any day, in any given field.
First will be last
But how do we make sure our structures reflect the diversity of today’s world? How to bring in more voices so that we can better serve our communities? I’m not the first person asking these questions, and I’ll certainly not be the last one.
Every organization, nonprofit and for profit, should put up front the desire to SERVE. I believe life cannot be properly lived if we’re not of service to others, and healthy organizations are those whose main purpose is to serve.
“And it was all yellow”
And, while the first step towards inclusion is acknowledgement, well, it is not enough. Bringing in different perspectives requires rigorous commitment and engagement to the cause, demonstrated by actual policies and procedures.
Organizations should be using all their means, online and offline, to fight privilege. In the end, it’s all about being open with yourself and with those who love you.
Where will my feet take me?
Being “closed” doesn’t take you “closer” to your goals, and a certain degree of receptivity is necessary for magic to unfold.