When it Comes to Diversity, Awareness is No Longer Enough

Global Diversity Awareness Month is here, but let’s be honest—we no longer have time for awareness alone. Let’s refresh the name (and, more importantly, our thinking) to call it Global Diversity Action Month.

The world has changed, and we no longer have the luxury of slowly developing our diversity awareness. We need to learn and take action quickly by practicing our learnings along the way.

Our community continues to be confronted by the dark side of humanity, as seen in the rise in anti-Asian and anti-Semitic hate crimes, ongoing disparities of treatment in our Black and Brown communities, and so much more. We feel badly that these things happen. Well, our path to feeling better is by doing better. We need to push back on thoughts and deeds of hate and respond and lead with acts of inclusion. 

At Illumina, we continue to actively work on our commitment to make the practice of inclusion an integral part of what we do. We are growing our network of employee resource groups, as well as the leaders and executives who support them. We are offering curriculum that helps our employees explore what inclusion looks like through their cadre of strengths. We are developing metrics that matter and exploring different ways to communicate them so our employees, and the world, know where we stand and what we are committed to.

We also have Diversity & Inclusion Ambassadors who have taken their own personal journey to learn and understand. In the words of Maya Angelou, “when we know better, we do better.” This work is personal, and it starts with each one of us.  

That is why I am urging you to start to focus on action. This month is the perfect time to rethink what steps you will take to make our world more inclusive. Is there a way in which you could be more connected to and supportive of communities that you are not yet connected to? What would it take? What would you gain? How could you start?

Let’s not let October pass without doing a little exploration to expand what we know and, most importantly, what we do. Let’s take advantage of how a new understanding or new relationship could vastly shift our perspective, facilitating our pathway to greater inclusion. We can each individually work on that and carry it into next year. We have a lot of work to do—and it really will take all of us—but the impact our individual efforts can have on our society makes the work worth it.