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Building Inclusive Employment in 2020: Week 2

What can you do to build inclusive employment this year?

All too often we are keen to point a finger of blame on why our society struggles with inclusive employment, but at Deb Russell Inc, we prefer to offer solutions! So, we’ll highlight easy action steps you can take each week to positively affect employment and inclusion this year. Try all of them or choose just one or two and see what an enormous difference you can create with surprisingly little effort. Let’s see what can change with 2020 this week we are looking at mentoring someone who is different.


Sometimes it isn’t easy being the newest person, or the youngest person, or the brownest, or funniest or whatever another standout characteristic is present.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it easier on them.  January is National Mentoring month and a great way to kick off this new year is to give someone else an opportunity.  If you are more established or confident or in a higher role, offer to assist them in learning the ropes or in exploring another career or department in your company.  Most people who progress in their careers or get closer to their dreams, attribute their success to someone having given them the time, tips or sponsorship to assist them (for more statistics on the benefits of mentorships, check out the link at the end of this post).  But in most cases, we mentor someone familiar to us; they look like us, went to the same school, have the same hobbies or grew up in a similar situation.  This year let’s make a point of looking around and selecting someone who doesn’t look like us.  Someone who is different or experiencing barriers other than the ones we’re familiar with.  This is how inclusion is elevated above diversity; when we cross those boundaries and extend our own recipe for success to others (who’ve not had the same benefits we’ve had).  The surprise to you might be how much you enjoy the experience of seeing success through their career’s progression.  This Forbes article gives some great suggestions for how to mentor and what to expect.  For many, mentoring may seem like a new concept, so you don’t even need to wait for an invitation to be a mentor!  Simply look out across your company and notice someone that you have never noticed before, strike up a conversation and offer yourself as a guiding light.

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Disclaimer: I only recommend things that  I know are helpful and have vetted personally.  Occasionally, I will receive some kind of commission or other compensation if you purchase something I have recommend. If you ever have an issue with anything I have recommended, please let me know. My goal is to help us all increase the value people with disabilities offer to business.   

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