When you have an idea for a change that would make your workplace better for women, where do you begin? How can you push for a childcare stipend, a company-wide pay audit, a more comprehensive health care plan, or an ombuds office? If you instigate the change, do you have to be the face of it? What are the other roles you can play?
Two experts in systemic, organizational change explain the behind-the-scenes strategizing, relationship building, and risk management that should happen before approaching the people in charge, who will then need to support, fund, and build out the proposal. And because sustaining a grassroots initiative requires motivating a bunch of volunteers, they also share tried-and-true ways to keep everyone invested in the cause, aligned, and on track.
Lily Zheng is a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist and executive coach. Their latest book is DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right.
Ashley Lewis is the assistant director of the UAW’s women’s department and a national vice president for the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
- “To Avoid DEI Backlash, Focus on Changing Systems — Not People,” by Lily Zheng
- “Dig, Bridge, Collectively Act,” by Tina Opie and Beth A. Livingston
- “How Leaders Get in the Way of Organizational Change,” by Ron Carucci
- “Cultivating Everyday Courage,” by James R. Detert
- “How to Figure Out How Much Influence You Have at Work,” by Maxim Sytch
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