Our March presenter described a workplace that is welcoming to anyone—which should make it welcome to everyone.
John Paz, who bills himself as “Señor Content Design,” spoke from Orlando to STC New England’s program on 17 March 2021 about achieving workplace diversity. John, whose career has taken him from Florida to Australia and back again, presented “The ‘Pipeline Problem’ is About Belonging.” His talk challenged some of the myths about hiring and offered ideas about how to achieve workforce diversity.
It’s been established that increased workforce diversity brings improved business success, and many global companies are embracing diversity. Paz addressed the apparent issue facing companies that recognize the value of a diverse workforce but can’t seem to find enough qualified applicants. Assembling a more diverse workforce requires removing conscious and unconscious filters, some of which Paz listed, beginning with recruiting and interviewing but also extending to benefits packages, corporate culture, and opportunities.
To John, homogeneity and groupthink, not diversity, are the “problems” to be fixed. If everyone on the team comes from a similar background and shared experience, they tend to think alike, and their weaknesses are reinforced. Diversity, he said, brings a range of experiences and thinking. It’s not a lowering of the bar but the “table stakes” for organizations.
One attendee called Paz’s talk “inspiring.” The workplace he described is one where everyone has a sense of belonging. A workplace that’s welcoming to anyone is also welcoming to everyone. As another attendee put it, “That sounds like a great company to work for.”