Language has the power to cultivate mutual respect among co-workers. Developing a process that supports unity instead of division should be a priority.
Words are not to be weaponized — language that’s inclusive avoids stereotypes, subtle discrimination, and judgment
But without the right process in place, you risk losing opportunities to be inclusive in your daily work.
Enrolling all employees into these efforts is what makes them effective
From the CEO and external stakeholders to middle managers, your DEI program relies on the entire organization’s participation. Creating a process for DEI communications is necessary to equip every person with the power to use their words wisely.
Why? Attitudes and behavior are influenced through language
From establishing a code of conduct and creating an employee handbook with HR policies, to directing branding, marketing and sales materials, language and communications set the expectations of how employees will relate to and treat each other.
Creating an Inclusive Communications Guide that informs your organization’s experiences, and registers your company’s intent, effort, and accountability is the place to start.
As a former communicator, Kim has been where you are:
Knowing the challenges — and wanting to do something about it — but unsure how to incite intentional DEI communications action.
Instead of keeping quiet in fear of saying the wrong thing, or trying to maneuver through DEI from a place of being right, Kim leaned into meeting people where they are and letting them know they can stay that way if they want to grow their careers and have a lasting positive legacy on their teams..
Now, she’s an advocate for systemic change with communicators leading the way. “Shock” and “solidarity” aren’t enough — we’re asking you to become a change agent.
DEI Communications Educator, Consultant, Speaker, & Co-Author
Kim is a long-time educator and perpetual student of messaging, audiences, and how culture and communications shape people's experiences of themselves and the world. An advocate and educator for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the business, within teams, and throughout the employee experience, she wants communicators to build DEI skills and feel capable in valuably contributing to DEI.
Kim's career spans various fields, from documentary filmmaking to media agencies and leading employee communication teams at PayPal, GoDaddy, and GitHub. She has been a lecturer at San Jose State University for 20+ years since earning an M.A. She is the co-author of the new book, "The Conscious Communicator: the fine art of not saying stupid sh*t (releases September 2022).
You've put together an inclusive language guide, but now what? If you don't have a strong communications plan, it'll collect digital dust on the digital shelf. Kim shares some ideas as she writes custom guides for companies and helps companies apply them across the business.
Janet M. Stovall & Kim Clark, Co-Authors of The Conscious Communicator
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