Skill Level Intermediate
- I want you to think about a time when you felt left out or like you just didn't belong. It's such an awful feeling, and I'd say that just about everyone's experienced it. On the flip side, think about the best group you ever belonged to where you felt like everyone cared about you, understood you, and valued you as part of the group. My name's Doctor Stefanie K. Johnson, and I'm a business professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Although I usually talk about my research on leadership and diversity, I've personally experienced what a difference inclusion and belonging can make in someone's life 'cause I've had my own struggles feeling like I belong. So I'm half Mexican, I grew up in a poor neighborhood outside of East Los Angeles in California, but I'm also half white, and at five foot 10 and a half, I towered over all my friends and family. When I was in high school I decided I wanted to get a PhD. Neither of my parents went to college, but I was really committed to doing it. I thought that I would go to this great school and would fit in with everyone. But when I was in college and grad school I was even more different from my peers. I didn't take summer vacations in Europe, I didn't belong to a country club. Instead I had to work to pay for my own education. So much for finding my people. But along the way I had a few great mentors and leaders who helped me see that I did belong, and I could belong while still being myself. And because of that I'm inspired to create that space for everyone. I've consulted leaders and organizations on how to tackle issues around changing structures and improving cultures to create diverse, inclusive environments where everyone can be successful and have a sense of belonging. You can achieve this in your own organization too, and this course will help you do just that, so let's get started.