Ep 116: The Most Important Piece of Diversity Work: Belonging (with Neha Sampat)

nonprofits are messyConsider two different dinner parties.

At the first you’ve got like-minded folks who know each other well. It’s comfortable. Affirming.

The second is more diverse. Age, race, politics, class, life experience, you name it. The conversation is messy, the voices raised. You don’t agree with everything but it does leave you thinking. You drive home and realize you had to confront an implicit bias.

And you know what? That second one was a great dinner party.

This is what I think of when I think of the power of diversity. Our world, my journey through it is enriched by the diversity of folks around me.

My guest today, Neha Sampat, is CEO and founder of GenLead|BelongLab where she focuses on building belonging and true inclusion.

What is belonging? Here’s a clue – it’s not just fitting in. Belonging requires being seen, understood and valued without needing to change yourself.

To foster belonging we cannot make assumptions. We need to ask the right questions and make the right efforts to build a bridge between leadership and everyone in the organization. That’s how organizations gain visibility into otherwise hidden barriers to belonging such as Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias and the daily microaggressions that the most underrepresented may experience.

Neha suggests we start by shifting our perspective from believing we are do-gooders to accepting that even good people have biases.

About Neha Sampat

Neha Sampat, Esq. is CEO and founder of GenLead|BelongLab, where she focuses on building belonging and true inclusion. Through consulting, training, speaking, and writing, she helps organizations create peak‐performance, inclusive teams by addressing hidden barriers to belonging, such as Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias, unconscious bias, generational diversity, distrust in teams, and wellness challenges. She is a nationally sought-after expert on disrupting Imposter Syndrome and internalized bias and runs the top-rated “Owning Your Value” online course to develop inclusive leadership.

In her work, Neha leverages her experience working as an attorney at both large and boutique law firms as well as her tenure as dean of students and leadership professor. Neha’s insights have been featured in Time Magazine, ABA Journal, Attorney at Work, ABA Law Practice Today, Thrive Global, News India Times, the Heels of Justice podcast, the Resilient Lawyer podcast, the GenWhy Lawyer podcast, the Leaders Love Company podcast, Talent Think Tank, and other professional publications. Neha holds BAs in Sociology and Political Science from University of Illinois at Urbana‐ Champaign, obtained her JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, received her Certificate in Graduate Applied Psychology from Golden Gate University, and is certified in Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). Neha works across industry, from Pixar to Perkins Coie LLP, and UC Berkeley to City of San Leandro. You can read more of Neha’s insights at blog.genlead.co, follow her on TW/IG/FB at @belonglab, and reach her directly at neha@genlead.co

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