Social justice movements that have swept the nation since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson in 2016–and re-ignited with George Floyd’s murder last year–have transformed the conversation about workplace culture, inclusivity, and the nature of leadership. Many companies now regularly hold diversity meetings or have hired diversity experts to help them transform company culture–but when it comes to transformation, education is the road to success. We’ve put together a short list of books that can act as guides, resources, or key components of training in your workplace so that real change is made, and everyone has a seat at the meeting table.
1. Success Through Diversity, Carol Fulp
This book addresses companies directly, educating them on the myriad of ways to promote and foster diversity in their working environments. She argues that diversity is not simply a matter of keeping up with the times or doing the nice thing–it’s literally the make-or-break aspect of the company itself.
2. Inclusify by Stefanie Johnson
This thoughtful work addresses the sometimes subtle dynamics between an individual doing their best work and an employee working as part of a group. How do employers maintain a balance between seeing the individual and the group effort, and how do they balance recognizing individual talents and unique abilities with team structure and group productivity? Furthermore, how is diversity recognized and promoted in a way that promotes the collective productivity as well? Johnson provides the roadmap with her theory of Inclusifying–that is, using individual differences to the advantage of the whole.
3. Edge, Laura Huang
Speaking of turning differences into strengths, this work takes the idea a step further by speaking about how your own limitations are not obstacles–they are your own unique assets. Understanding how to seize on every aspect of yourself as a method to foster your performance and confidence is essential reading for any employee–and any employer.
4. Subtle Acts of Exclusion, Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran
This book gets right to the heart of what creates an environment toxic to true diversity: racism, bias, and micro-aggressions. An excellent book to use as a resources in guiding employees to foster a healthy atmosphere that does not threaten the mental health or productivity of diverse employees– and also helping those employees to recognize it in the workplace.