Unity in Diversity: Building Inclusive Online Spaces

May 16, 2024

 In this episode of Business Power Hour with Faith Mariah, my guests and I discussed:

  • Understanding Cultural Differences: Michelle Reyes emphasizes the significance of understanding and adapting to different cultural values and communication styles in business interactions.
  • Moving Beyond Tokenism: Simone McNish highlights the importance of actively seeking diverse representation in networks and explains how to avoid tokenism when organizing events.
  • Overcoming Perfectionism: The guests discuss how perfectionism is tied to white supremacy culture and share how to align businesses with personal values rather than societal values.
  • The Importance of Defining Values: Simone emphasizes the need for businesses to clearly define and vocalize their values as a step towards inclusivity on their website and social media platforms.
  • Embracing Small Changes: Faith Mariah and the guests emphasize the significance of making small changes over time and integrating inclusivity into existing processes and initiatives.

In a world that is increasingly diverse, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the importance of cultural inclusivity. On this episode of Business Power Hour, we brought together experts in the field, Michelle Reyes and Simone McNish, to shed light on incorporating cultural diversity into business practices. We aim to explore the key takeaways from the conversation and dive into actionable strategies for fostering equity and growth through inclusivity.

Strategic Market Research and Diversified Messaging

Michelle Reyes highlighted the value of strategic market research as a critical first step in diversifying products and services. One essential question she posed was, “Which cultures are we not serving, and how can we attract a more diverse clientele?” This simple yet profound question underscores the necessity of understanding the cultural landscape to tailor offerings that resonate with a broader audience. By incorporating cultural intelligence, businesses can develop diversified messaging and expand their services to cater to different cultural groups, fostering inclusivity and attracting a more diverse clientele.

Diversifying Services to Serve Various Cultural Groups

In sharing her experience, Michelle Reyes provided insightful examples of how she diversified her coaching services to serve clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. By acknowledging the unique starting points in their cultural and diversity journey, she exemplified the importance of meeting clients where they are and tailoring services to address their specific needs. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also demonstrates a genuine commitment to inclusivity, setting the stage for long-term relationships built on mutual understanding and respect.

Overcoming Perfectionism and Fear of Making Mistakes

Simone McNish addressed the prevalent issue of perfectionism and the fear of making mistakes when attempting to create a more inclusive business environment. She emphasized the need for transparency about one's values and beliefs, highlighting the transformative power of embracing discomfort and being open to constructive dialogue. By encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace vulnerability and learn from their missteps, Simone advocates for a proactive approach to cultivating an inclusive business culture.

Redefining Perfectionism and Aligning with Personal Values

Simone further expounded on the concept of perfectionism as a construct of white supremacy culture, shedding light on its pervasive influence in business practices and society. By redefining perfectionism and aligning business practices with personal values rather than societal norms, entrepreneurs can actively dismantle the barriers to inclusivity and foster an environment where authenticity and growth go hand in hand.

Embracing Cultural Awareness and Understanding

Michelle Reyes stressed the importance of cultural assessments for leaders and businesses to understand and adapt to different cultural values and communication styles. Her emphasis on the significance of personal connection, particularly with ethnic minority clients, underscores the transformative potential of embracing cultural awareness within business interactions. By fostering genuine understanding and connection, businesses can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive engagements that resonate with diverse cultural groups.

Diversity Without Tokenism

The conversation also delved into the delicate balance of promoting diversity without tokenism. Faith Mariah expressed her concerns about inclusivity in business events, particularly the challenge of including more people of color as speakers without tokenizing them. Michelle Reyes provided a practical solution by advocating for the active representation of diverse voices without falling into the trap of tokenism. Her advice on forming an advisory council for diverse input and seeking at least two representatives from different ethnic backgrounds when organizing events presents a proactive approach to fostering genuine diversity and inclusion.

Managing Overwhelming Challenges and Staying Resilient

The discussion touched upon the overwhelming nature of the work required to create inclusive business environments. By acknowledging these challenges and sharing insights on staying in a productive mindset, the conversation revealed the importance of persistence and resilience in the face of adversity. The guests’ emphasis on making small, meaningful changes over time and integrating inclusivity into existing processes serves as an empowering reminder for entrepreneurs to embark on their journey towards cultural inclusivity with patience and determination.

Engaging with the Experts

Michelle Reyes and Simone McNish are not only advocates for cultural inclusivity but also offer valuable resources and insights for businesses striving to integrate these values into their practices. Michelle's free online course on cultural marketing strategies and her website, michelleamireyes.com, provide accessible avenues for businesses to delve deeper into the nuances of inclusivity. Additionally, Simone's free guide on prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in business, coupled with her expertise as a consultant, offers a wealth of knowledge for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike.

The Power Hour episode on Faith Workspace offered a compelling exploration of the significance of cultural inclusivity in business and the actionable steps entrepreneurs can take to foster equity and growth. By integrating the expert insights and practical strategies elaborated during the conversation, businesses can embark on a journey towards inclusivity, nurturing an environment where diverse voices are not only heard but also celebrated. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of business, the commitment to inclusivity emerges as a powerful catalyst for transformation, enabling businesses to not only thrive but also lead the charge in fostering a more equitable and interconnected world.


Meet this Week's Contributors:

Dr. Michelle Reyes

Simone McNish, DEI Consultant


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