144: A Fresh Perspective on Inclusive Leadership (with Dr. Ella Bell Smith)

nonprofits are messyInclusive leadership requires more than just attending DEI training and then integrating what you learn into your nonprofit organization — this work goes much deeper. Join me as I dive into this topic and do some self-reflection with today’s guest, one of the leading experts in the management of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, Dr. Ella Bell Smith.

It is no secret that the nonprofit sector has a major diversity problem. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that the percentage of people of color in the ED/CEO role in our sector has remained under 20% for the last 15 years.

As a white woman involved in this work, I can admit that at times I have found myself totally oblivious to my own privilege and power. Before embarking on my own DEI journey with my team at the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, I naively assumed that my time as an LGBTQIA+ activist would make the road less bumpy.

But when it comes to DEI work, there is no room for assumptions — especially for leaders. Inclusive leadership requires you to keep your mind open so you can ask the right questions. This is how you begin to build the bridge between you and the people in your organization and lay the groundwork for a culture of belonging. That’s what inclusive leadership is about.

In today’s episode, leadership and DEI consultant and professor of business administration at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Dr. Ella Bell Smith, shares a fresh perspective on this topic and shares some sound advice for nonprofit leaders who are ready to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

You see, DEI training is not some not some standalone project or checklist — it is a must-have for intentional leadership in today’s world.

In This Podcast:

  • Why is diversity and inclusion important?
  • How do leadership and diversity intersect?
  • What is DEI training?
  • Should nonprofit leaders invest in DEI training?
  • Why is it so important for nonprofit leaders to self-reflect on their own privilege?

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