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HCI Webinar: IDEA - Inclusion = Diversity + Equity + Accessibility, with Kim Flanery-Rye

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Kim Flanery-Rye about IDEA (Inclusion = Diversity + Equity + Accessibility). Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


The importance of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) within organizations was discussed by Kimfer and Jonathan. Kimfer emphasized that IDEA should be an integral part of an organization's budget process and culture. She also highlighted the politicization of diversity, equity, and inclusion and its impact on businesses and organizations. The conversation also touched on the importance of treating people with respect and dignity irrespective of political affiliations, the challenges organizations face in committing to IDEA and the importance of accessibility and inclusion in digital platforms and physical environments.


IDEA and Organizational Culture


Kimfer and Jonathan discussed the importance of diversity, equity, and accessibility within organizations. Kimfer emphasized that IDEA should not be an afterthought, but rather an integral part of an organization's budget process. She also highlighted that culture is created not only by a organization's brand and values, but also by its policies and procedures. Kimfer shared her personal background and experiences, including her MBA and executive leadership, and her belief in the importance of creativity in problem-solving. The discussion concluded with Kimfer's quote, "culture eats strategy for breakfast," emphasizing the importance of culture in determining the success of a strategy.


Change Management and DEI Politicization


Kimfer discussed the importance of change management in organizations and the role of DEI in creativity and future of work. Kimfer emphasized the need for organizations to understand how to operationalize internal learning and implement change. Jonathan, a university professor and academic director, agreed, highlighting their shared focus on systems and equity. Kimfer also discussed the politicization of diversity, equity, and inclusion and its impact on businesses and organizations. Kimfer shared her contact details and encouraged Jonathan to think about the role of Di in the current political and educational climate.


Respect and Polarization in Workplaces


Jonathan and Kimfer discussed the importance of treating people with respect and dignity, irrespective of political affiliations. They lamented the politicization of this issue, with certain words and actions being deemed unacceptable on university campuses. Kimfer shared her observations on the industry and organizational conversations she's involved in, noting the polarization and the differing perspectives on how to approach work-related conversations. She pointed out that while pressure can push organizations in a certain direction, forcing them to comply can lead to resentment and a lack of genuine commitment.


DEI Challenges and Stakeholder Considerations


Kimfer and Jonathan discussed the challenges organizations face in committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), particularly in the face of potential legislation. Kimfer emphasized the importance of considering stakeholders beyond just stockholders and noted the current political landscape in Utah. Jonathan expressed his frustration with organizations that he felt should be more vocal in their support for these causes. They also explored the concept of inclusion in the DEI space, with Kimfer highlighting the importance of accessibility often being overlooked in these discussions. Kimfer also shared her background in digital marketing and her experience with accessibility in that context.


Accessibility and Inclusion in Digital and Physical Environments


Kimfer and Jonathan discussed the importance of accessibility and inclusion in digital platforms and physical environments. They emphasized that organizations should ensure their buildings are Ada compliant and that events, including virtual ones, incorporate necessary accommodations such as captioning and interpreters. They highlighted the cost of not being inclusive, including the potential loss of employees and distractions that can impact work performance. Jonathan pointed out that while making a business case for inclusion can be helpful, there is also a strong human and moral case for it.


Greyhound's Height Policy


Jonathan discussed the long-term impacts of a class action suit against Greyhound bus lines regarding height requirements for bus drivers. He explained that while the policy may have seemed reasonable and safe, it disproportionately affected individuals of Asian descent who may have been shorter. Ultimately, the court decision required Greyhound to change its hiring policy and install raised pedal systems in buses, leading to a wider talent pool and less turnover.


Listen to the webinar here:







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