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Do You Belong?

I always find it fascinating to read about trends in the industry I’ve been a professional at for 43 years! People assume I specialize in “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”, and of course, it’s in my “playbook”. The problem is while I appear to fit the demographic of a “person with a disability”, I am not a person with a disability. I was born without arms, so I believe it’s my “normal”. Yet, I’ve had a front row seat to the progress that has been made in accessibility and accommodation for people with special needs. This interest means that internet analytics feed me stories about the field, and I was a wee bit conflicted when I read a post from the “Forbes Communications Council” and author, Janet Best, VP Marketing at All American Entertainment Speakers Bureau. The headline is:

“Six Corporate Events Trends to Watch In 2024”

(An excerpt from the list) “It isn’t enough to be inclusive if that means that your voice still isn’t heard, welcomed, or valued… Belonging is the next evolution in diversity, equity and inclusion. As these terms have become more polarized in recent years than intended, it’s time to focus on the end goal: belonging. Helping people feel valued, regardless of their differences, is where we need to be!”

Please do me a favour and read that again. Now, take a moment to contemplate the observation and consider how it makes you feel.

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