About the Episode
Creating an environment where everyone can come together and be themselves is essential in every ecosystem. Yet, despite its impact, most of us are less aware of doing it correctly. Today we have Michael Bath, award-winning and best-selling author and global executive with tremendous experience in inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. In today’s episode of pursuit of learning, we dive deep into his book, “Birds of All Feathers” where he broadly addresses doing the diversity and inclusion right.
As usual, we start the conversation with Michael’s current motivation. Along with that, he mentions how much he is concerned about his work after George Floyd’s death. As the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion founder and CEO, Michael is a dedicated and accomplished individual who tries to create a space where everyone is accepted. In his book Birds of All Feathers, he deeply discusses implementing diversity and inclusion correctly. It is a best-seller in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Amazon.
Moreover, his book won the silver 2020 Nautilus Book Award in Rising to the Moment by the National Book Foundation. On the other hand, the title of his book has a deep and exciting meaning. Instead of a bird of a feather, it is birds of all feathers. It means that it does not matter what kind of bird you are; the nest is for you. With diversity and inclusion, we try to build nests where all birds can come together. In other words, with diversity and inclusion, we are trying to create a space where everyone can bring themselves to work. So, no one has to leave something at the door. No one has to hide whoever they are. Before diving deep into the content of his book, we discuss the terminology Michael has used in his book. At that point, stating the term intersectionality, Michael emphasizes the importance of understanding it as a part of this conversation around inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
Correctly implementing diversity and inclusion in an organization lets the people with the right talent and skill achieve the highest. He simplifies diversity and inclusion as the shade of grey at their finest. We analyze the overall impact and the results of several models for diversity, discussing the negative and positive effects. Another vital concept to pay attention to as an organization is equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome. Michael shares his insights regarding that with a comprehensive explanation.
Furthermore, we talk about organizational malpractices, such as tokenism and the better ways to implement diversity and inclusion. In the latter part of the conversation, we talk about how leadership in an organization affects diversity and inclusion and vice versa. In addition, we discuss how to combine intersectionality with our day-to-day work and life as well. As an end note, Michael shares the exciting news about his new book Alphabet Soup: The Quintessential Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion which arrives on March 29, 2022.