Can Microshifts Open the Door to Inclusion?

September 20, 2021


By Danielle Marshall

With so many efforts emerging to support the creation of inclusive workspaces, it can be hard to determine where to begin. I am a firm believer that all organizations should be moving towards a place of formalizing and implementing DEI goals. However, the reality is that organizations are in many different places on their journey, and this can leave individuals wondering what is my work to do in this moment. To that end, when was the last time you asked yourself, “In what ways have I worked to make my organization, department, or team more inclusive?”. To take it a step further “What am I doing to create an inclusive workplace on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis?”

One of my favorite coaching questions to ask is “How can I begin to see what I currently do not?”. This question does not require us to have a fleshed-out organizational plan, rather it encourages us to consider ways we might build our own cultural competencies. One example of this came from a client who frequently scheduled meetings and large-scale projects unknowingly around holidays only to be met by pushback from their teams and partners.

So, how does one become more aware of other religions and cultural days? There are many ways to answer that question, and this client selected a simple yet intentional strategy to support her awareness and choose to add holidays to her Google calendar. Through this small action, she not only became aware of holidays but invited others to bring their cultures into the workplace, all while reducing the number of scheduling challenges. Beyond solving for one problem she opened the door to multiple opportunities to bring inclusion to the office. Whether it be greeting a colleague or creating space for cultural traditions, these simple gestures paired with more robust goals foster spaces for individuals to bring more of their authentic selves to work.

Acknowledging that there are multiple pathways, what strategies are you leaning into to invest in workplace inclusion?

To add holidays to your calendar you can visit Google and Outlook.


Danielle Marshall is the founder of Culture Principles, LLC. As a Certified Diversity Professional and Executive Coach, she supports organizations in developing and operationalizing their Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion goals through a process of organizational assessment, workshops, and capacity building. Danielle leverages over 20 years of nonprofit experience and a background in Industrial-Organizational Psychology to customize initiatives for clients. Where sustained coaching is needed Danielle utilizes the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and Cultural Intelligence (CQ) assessments to help clients understand and build upon their current level of cultural competencies.