Join Pat Wadors for an in-depth discussion in this video What is DIBs?, part of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
- DIBs. DIBs is an acronym to pull together diversity, inclusion and belonging. So we're adding the belonging mindset to the D and I conversation. I was asked to speak on a panel over a year ago now, about diversity and inclusion, as a talent leader, as a woman, at a women event And they're saying, "Pat can you tee up this topic for the audience." And I'm like, "Why, we're at a diversity event, "don't they know what this is?" And they were like, "Well we'd like you to talk about how you feel about it." And I don't know about you, but when someone asks me how I feel about something, it changes my perspective.
And I went home, and I'm like, "Hmm, how do I feel "about diversity and inclusion?" And what resonated with me, midway through my evening, was that D and I is necessary, but not sufficient. That it grabs my head, but not my heart. And diversity is everything that makes you and I unique. From the color of my hair, to that I'm left handed, or I'm introverted, I'm a mom, I'm dyslexic. Whatever those things are seen and unseen. And inclusion, if you think about it, is really the verb.
So diversity is the noun, what am I. Inclusion is the act of inviting you fairly, respectfully. Pay parity would come into that. The training on unconscious bias would come under inclusion or acts of inclusion. But it doesn't change how I feel. And what people at a human level really want is to feel like they belong to a community, that they feel psychological safety, that someone cares about me and my unique self. So can I rock my pink hair, does it change how you look at me, can I be who I am authentically, and feel great and contribute my full self? That's the sense of belonging.
That's why I think it's so important, the D and I conversation. Without that you don't get the diversity of thought. So how belonging popped into my head, was when I was thinking back in my childhood when I didn't fit. Kind of like the Sesame Street song, you know there's one thing that doesn't fit. What doesn't belong? My first moment in my life, where I didn't belong, where I wasn't wanted because of my gender was when I was nine.
And that moment was so crystal clear in my head, around 3:00 a.m. in the morning. And it touched on the D and the I, and the belonging piece because growing up I was a tomboy. My brother and I are Irish twins, we're 12 months apart. I was his wing person. Whatever he did, I did. In my ninth year I had my first crush, and it was with his friend, which you shouldn't do, by the way. And I thought it would be fun to try out for baseball with my brother and his friend all day long, as a joke.
And they were calling me Bob all day long. They didn't call me by my name. And somewhere through that day, it was no longer about spending time with this cute boy, it was about me getting on this team. Because I realized that I was good. Like because I was hanging with my brother and his friends, and playing ball in the street, I was a great catcher. Because my brother was a pitcher. I could run far and fast, I had agility. I knew the game. And I got picked; I was a first draft pick for the Pirates in little league in New York.
And I was super excited. And I remember I was so thrilled. And my sisters were coming to pick us up, and they're like, "Yeah Patty." And then you heard crickets. Patty wasn't Bob, and the manager and the coaches were like, "What's up, you're not allowed to play, "you're a girl." And I'm like, "I just played. "Like I just kicked their butts. "Like I'm good." And instead of fighting for myself, I was getting my equipment and leaving. My sisters argued on my behalf. They said, "Let's look at the book." The book didn't say no girls allowed, right.
They just assumed no girls were allowed. And so they reluctantly included me on the team. So now it's diverse. I mean there was different colored skin, there was different religions, different perspectives, socio-economic was on there. I was included, however ungracefully, I was included on the team, 'cause there was nothing saying that I couldn't play. But I didn't belong. They clearly didn't want me. One of the boys stole my mitt. They wouldn't invite me to pizza. Like I didn't belong to the community, and that hurt. And I wouldn't give up.
And halfway through the season, I threw a ball, second base, got a kid out. We won the game. The team invited me to pizza to celebrate. My first time to hang out with them after a game, where they wanted me. And they returned my mitt that day. And that was my first belonging moment. And from then on, point forward, I rocked who I was. I grew my hair out in pigtails, I played two more years in baseball. But it was because they accepted all of me, is when my joy went up.
You know, I played the game for half a season, but I didn't have that sense of belonging. But when they accepted who I was as a girl, and called me Patty, and was cool with it, I smiled.