The lsimeblog work advice column 2:

Okay, happy-workplace-happy-productive-worker advice piece two. And yes I know this one is kinda really rather obvious, nevertheless:

A more enjoyable and better functioning work community  🙂

Todays most helpful tip. Try to ensure balanced compositions at your meetings, committees, boards, and on your proposals. Aim for  50-50 male-female with as good an age mix as possible. Even if your colleagues are 70-30 men-women, aiming for 50-50 (even if not achieved) is really helpful.  Ditto AFAP for colleagues in all other minorities. And yes, if anyone pesters me, will look up some of the research which helps explain why, beyond the very obvious, this strategy should lead to a more enjoyable and effective/resilient work community.

Doing something to help make it happen (the important bit?):

nerd_girlsIf you have no direct control over the mix – consider asking those who do to ensure that a wide range of people are invited. This applies especially please if you are an average height/tall straight white male, and/or you dont seem to already spend lots of time dealing with bias.

If you think organisers may not know of possible minority colleagues, which they may well not, please consider providing suggestions. Or, if you are the organiser, ask around as widely as you can for suggestions.  Strong subconscious biases which we all have (try an online test if you are not convinced) makes it much more difficult for organisers to think of women of all ages, short people, and anyone else minority with equal speed. It is inherently very difficult to think past white blokes, so getting the balance right needs active effort [1,2,3].

Footnotes:

[1] An initial period of feeling less at ease with all your colleagues may be part and parcel of a better mix. The too-much-comfort-zone thing, i.e. the invite-your-best-mates-to-the-meeting approach, actively works against minorities.

[2] Another consequence would be that white blokes would have to get a few less invites  – a little more family and leisure time?

[3] A few awkward moments of various kinds may occur. But we’re all kinda winging it, so the odd faux pas would seem a small price to pay for the overall goal of a more balanced, equal, and better functioning work community.

[4] Whats happening in my veg garden now? I am gonna write this post next. Really I am, I most definitely am. I have the pix even : -) but maybe also just one more advice…

 

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