Diversity in Organizations

How do we often see others and why do we have to learn to look differently?

Organizations often have a certain ideal image of, for example, the “successful employee” or the “successful career”. This ideal image is mainly based on the past, in which the working population and life realities were much more homogeneous than is the case today. Still, many organizations cling to this narrow or limited ideal image and accept it as “the norm”. However, clinging to a limited ideal image offers too little room for today’s heterogeneous working population with its life realities. For example, a limited ideal image can lead to systematic inequality between people belonging to different social groups. If organizations want to make room for diversity, we must learn to look critically at limited ideal images with the aim of stretching them and making room for multiplicity.

What does looking differently mean and why is it promising?

“Normal is a concept that is of no use to anyone”

Connectify chooses to approach diversity in organizations from a critical perspective and challenges the idea of “normal”! In doing so, underlying and often invisible (power) processes and practices in organizations play a central role in this approach.

The question always is: How can we optimize processes and practices in such a way that the limited ideal image is challenged, thereby creating more room for a broader understanding and interpretation of concepts such as “success” or “career”.

And what is looking differently and creating more room specifically about?

Looking differently in this case means looking critically at how limited ideal images and systematic inequalities are maintained. Often, self-evident processes and practices are no longer questioned or tested. For example, when was the last time you thought about the limitations that lie behind the idea of informal drinks at the end of an event? Or the procedure for assessment or selection in your organization? And the dynamics in selection/assessment committees? Looking critically at “This is how we do things here” (i.e. normalized processes, procedures, and practices) offers opportunities to adjust such processes and create more room for diversity and inclusion.