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Jessica Mazzeo of Griesing Law. Jessica Mazzeo of Griesing Law.

It’s not surprising that most efforts surrounding workplace diversity come in the beginning of the year when Americans celebrate Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, which also coincides with International Women’s Day on March 8. While both celebrate the achievements and historical contributions made by African Americans and women, as employers, our conversations shouldn’t be starting—or ending—there. In fact, “conversations” around workplace diversity and inclusion aren’t enough, they need to be backed up with action. With the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements aimed at sexual harassment in the workplace, and employers facing more and more discrimination lawsuits, it is time that employers face the fact that we need diversity and inclusion in our workplace in order to succeed. To clarify, workplace diversity means representing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, while inclusion means including and integrating all types of individuals into your organization. It’s important to understand both of these because while one can happen without the other, neither are successful alone. To put it simply, Vernā Myers, acclaimed author, speaker and diversity and inclusion consultant said it perfectly when she said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

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