While I don't think there can ever be a space safe enough for people of the Global Majority, I define a "safe space" as an environment rooted in trust and accountability. A space where employees are comfortable showing up as their full selves because the environment isn't oppressive or discriminatory. A space in which employees feel included and listened to.
As DEI Practitioners, we often focus on getting buy-in from leadership, but employees need to be aligned with the strategy also. It's the responsibility of DEI practitioners to prepare the organization on a mindset, and emotional level for the change that is about to occur. Implementing things too quickly without honest and upfront communication about expectations will cause harm. This is how you build a solid foundation for your strategy and the implementation process.
So I created this list as a guide for DEI practitioners to be intentional about creating safe spaces for those we work with.
Create a culture of trust by affirming employees and maintaining confidentiality.
Allow employees to share their experiences, without judgment.
Set boundaries for yourself. While it's important to give employees the space to express themselves, it's important to maintain your peace and avoid compassion fatigue.
Open, honest and direct communication and asking questions.
Holding Leadership accountable. Advocating for those who are most marginalized while staying true to what you've outlined, and the Exec Team has agreed to in the DEI strategy.
** If you need help with developing the foundation of your strategy, or honing your skills in creating safe spaces, and would like one-on-one guidance from me, apply for DEI Blueprint™ today.