Be­ing Your­self at Work

Working Mother - - Inclusion Index -

Work­places are chang­ing—or at least the best of them are. At the or­ga­ni­za­tions on the In­clu­sion In­dex, there’s a new open­ness, start­ing with com­mu­ni­ca­tions from the top, about is­sues that used to be off-lim­its. They’re cre­at­ing en­vi­ron­ments where peo­ple can tell their man­ager and co-work­ers they are deal­ing with post­par­tum de­pres­sion or be com­fort­able putting a pic­ture of their same-sex part­ner on their desk.

If you’ve felt that you couldn’t “be your true self at work,” you’re not alone. A Deloitte study re­vealed that 61 per­cent of peo­ple hide some key as­pect about them­selves from oth­ers at work, whether it’s a dis­abil­ity, re­li­gion, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion or race/eth­nic­ity. And a Univer­sity of

Ex­eter study found that peo­ple who con­ceal these types of “core char­ac­ter­is­tics” have sig­nif­i­cantly lower job sat­is­fac­tion and com­mit­ment to work.

Your abil­ity to be open about who you are also might de­pend on how much di­ver­sity there is at your place of work. A re­cent

Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view study found that em­ploy­ees at or­ga­ni­za­tions with more di­ver­sity are far more likely to have a cul­ture where em­ploy­ees can be open. The study noted: “Open­ing your­self to oth­ers re­quires risk tak­ing and trust, but with­out it, em­ploy­ees are less likely to build the deeper re­la­tion­ships that lead to both suc­cess and more hap­pi­ness at work.” To as­sess work­force di­ver­sity and open, in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ments, Work­ing Mother Me­dia’s Di­ver­sity Best Prac­tices di­vi­sion has cre­ated an In­clu­sion In­dex that tracks or­ga­ni­za­tional progress. This year, 73 or­ga­ni­za­tions qual­i­fied for this in­dex. Here’s what sets them apart, along with their em­ploy­ees’ own sto­ries about why they work there.

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