The Orange Blog

Why We Expanded Diversity

In today’s discourse, some organizations have shifted the focus from gender equity towards a broader view of diversity and inclusion. Corporations are waking up to the call to acknowledge the intersectional identities that people bring to work each day, including race, gender, and sexual orientation. And fortunately, these efforts are complimentary.  At Orange Grove Consulting, we have expanded our training programs to incorporate all kinds of diverse individuals.   When we first developed our training and development programs, our work focused on the largest [...]

Corporate Anti-Racism: Time to Take Action

By Daffany Chan, featuring Neli Fanning More than ever, corporations across the country are waking up to the call to tackle systemic racism and ensure that their workforces are more diverse and inclusive. But what does a corporate anti-racist strategy actually look like? There’s no one-size-fits all approach, but one thing’s for sure: Anti-racism needs to be an intentional focus. With more demand for equitable communities as well as bottom-line-business benefits at stake, now’s the time to take action to address  corporate racism. [...]

What’s Wrong with Political Correctness?

In today’s workplace, having diverse teams with people of different races, genders, and other identity groups is critical. The bottom-line business benefits of having a diverse workforce are clear -- with increases in innovation and productivity -- but navigating different groups of people and personalities isn’t always easy. You’ve probably heard of instances when someone was chastised for using the wrong pronoun or an offensive term. In an era of political correctness, people can begin to feel judged or blamed, not only for [...]

You Launched a Diversity Initiative in 2020 – Hooray! Now What?

If you are like many organizational leaders in 2020, you likely kicked off a diversity initiative to improve the workplace experiences and outcomes of women and people of color. Maybe you’ve launched new anti-discrimination policies or implemented recruiting quotas. But after you’ve made these first steps toward an inclusive workplace, how do you know you’ve been successful? In the final installment of our three-part series, we outline a standardized method for keeping your organization accountable for long-term results. Using an objective framework to [...]

Leading Inclusively: It’s All About the 21st Century Leadership Skills

Many organizations implement a diversity program in the hopes of avoiding bad publicity, but wonder why they don’t see long-term change. They hire a VP of Diversity and Inclusion and roll out bias training – now we’re fixed, right?  Yet senior leadership still looks the same -other than the VP of Diversity and Inclusion, of course, who usually checks a demographic diversity box in some way.  Guess what – that doesn’t fool anyone!   What’s missing is a comprehensive plan to remove barriers [...]

Mindset Shift: The First Step To Building An Equitable Workplace

Plenty of organizations want to create an equitable workplace, and yet only 18% of women say their companies have done something.   (Interestingly, 51% of men think their companies have made a difference).  CEOs often make the mistake of claiming they’ll “prioritize inclusivity” and thinking demanding it is enough to solve the problem. The reality is that lasting organizational impact begins with shifting mindsets. In our new book, The Next Smart Step, we outline the process for making lasting organizational change for women [...]

The Next Smart Step: How to Overcome Gender Stereotypes and Build a Stronger Organization

As the country deals with the impact of COVID-19 and social unrest over racial injustice, employers have vowed to improve diversity within their organizations. Though equity may be at the forefront for implementing change, there are many other reasons why organizations should prioritize diversity. Diversity and inclusion is good for business and implementing a training program can help organizations be more profitable, attract and retain talent, and drive innovation. Inclusive training programs are often mischaracterized as racist and divisive – and it’s important [...]

The Need for Inclusion and Unity is Urgent

  2020 has been an unprecedented battle for the country, as we face the challenge of flattening the curve and confront difficult conversations on race. The pandemic has reached epic proportions and nationwide protests by the Black Lives Matter movement show no signs of stopping. At the intersection of health and racial inequity, there is increasing evidence that ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic and dying at higher numbers. On top of social and health challenges, the United States [...]

3 Ways to Observe Your Way Into Inclusion

By Jodi Detjen and Daffany Chan  I was speaking recently with a group of mid-level business leaders about the return from COVID. They were mentioning how their senior leadership was making plans while ignoring the implications of schools not reopening this fall. The people I spoke with described how unaware these executives were -- how they had no idea about the struggles parents are experiencing right now, as they juggle work and childcare without community support.   By failing to consider the experiences of vulnerable employees, these business leaders [...]

The Top 10 Excuses for Excluding People and What to Do about Them

A lack of diverse teams unequivocally hurts business innovation -- yet many firms are still using excuses to keep women, people of color, and other minority groups out of the boardroom and leadership. In our conversations with corporate leaders and talent managers, we’ve heard it all. From “Of course we want diversity, but we just don’t know how” to “Women just don’t fit in”, companies will often deflect the blame for their diversity problems.   This mentality distracts people from the real culprit of underrepresentation in the workplace: unconscious biases and outdated stereotypes. Creating [...]

“Bias Blindness” as a Barrier to Inclusion

With contributions by Stacey Gordon, Rework Work   As the country erupts with racial tension following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, communities and workplaces have become battlegrounds of debate.  The Black Lives Matter movement and protestors seeking justice for George Floyd have been met with resistance and outrage. While what some of these responses show may not be overt racism, it clearly demonstrates the blindness of those who still believe the system is fair and that everyone is treated equally.  And because [...]

How to do D&I

Times of crisis may be unsettling, but they can also be the catalyst needed for change. Since it’s unlikely that life will return to exactly how it was before the global coronavirus pandemic, there’s an unparalleled opportunity for leaders to take advantage of. This could be the black swan event that rallies us to address the diversity and inclusion issues we’ve been ignoring for far too long. After all, with organizations turning their focus on HR departments to lead during the stressful time, now’s the time to [...]

HR Leaders: How Will You Leverage COVID19 To Make Your Role More Strategic?

If you are an HR or D&I leader, COVID19 has likely redefined and REFRAMED your role in significant ways.  The crisis has provided you a perfect opportunity to shift from being thought of as a “nice-to-have” cost-center to an invaluable resource for keeping the wheels on the bus for your organization.  After all, overnight those initiatives like teleworking and flexible work schedules have become absolutely necessary for your organization.  As has the ability to scale your workforce up and down while redefining roles [...]

Enough with the Talk: Taking Action for Inclusion

Enough with the talk! It’s time to take action for inclusion.     Jodi spoke recently at the Brandon Hall HCM conference and heard over and over about how people are working diligently to help increase inclusion. But over and over again, she also heard stories about how inclusion is considered strategic but there is no money available for training and no movement from senior leaders.  Companies will set up ERGs and “let” volunteer advocates run them, but nobody is responsible for actually making a change to the organization.  There is rarely a budget, and even [...]

Why Mentorship Matters For Employee Retention

By Jennifer McKenzie, Guest Blogger On the internet, there is a famous adage that keep making rounds every now and then -- it reads: people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. The popularity of the statement is indicative of how employees feel about their workplaces. According to data curated by Business Insider, most workers expect their managers to help develop their careers. If their bosses don't step up to the tasks, they quit. Forbes echoed the same sentiment, saying that aside [...]

Welcome to 2020 at Orange Grove

Over the last 3 years, there have been so many changes in the world of gender equity and inclusion.   First there was gender equity, women in leadership programs and diversity. Then #metoo came, followed by the #metoo backlash, male allyship, and the progression of identity and belonging.  Self-selecting pronouns of “she, he, they” have become quite commonplace. There are increasingly influential ideas around inclusivity and intersectionality. All this has happened against the backdrop of companies managing an increase of millennials in the [...]

Benevolent Sexism: How Well-Meaning Stereotypes Hurt Women in the Workplace

By Daffany Chan  With the growing focus on gender inequality, recognizing blatant instances of sexism in the workplace — such as sexual harassment and pay discrimination — has become more common. But what’s trickier is identifying the consequences of seemingly well-meaning stereotypes about women as they take on leadership roles at work. From being better collaborators to better multitaskers, these assumptions about women have been deemed forms of “benevolent sexism.” Defined as a “subtler form of sexism… expressed in a seemingly positive way,” [...]

Moving Forward: How Millennials are Pushing for Workplace Inclusion

By Daffany Chan  With the spotlight on gender equality and inclusion in the workplace, spurred by recent social movements like #Metoo, it’s impossible to ignore the effect of millennial perspectives on organizational culture. After all, the group, which currently makes up the largest generation in the labor force and is forecasted to be 75% of the global workforce by 2025, has a reputation for being forward thinking, digital purveyors that use social networking to accelerate the conversation on intersectionality. There’s no question about [...]

Navigating #MeToo in the Workplace: Reframing Common Assumptions

By Kelly Watson Not “knowing how to act around women anymore” in response to #metoo could set men back as much as women.   I heard a man recently say he “didn’t know how to act around women at work anymore,” in response to #metoo.  It seems to have become a common refrain, coupled with shrugs and hands thrown in the air.  Others have said they fear mentoring women or meeting with them one on one.  Mike Pence has notoriously said he won’t [...]

Bring on the Male Allies: Accelerating Inclusive Organizations

By Jodi Detjen and Daffany Chan In the wake of the #Metoo movement, people are buzzing about inclusion and gender equity in the workplace. But women are still not advancing to leadership positions at the same rate as men. 1 in 6 male managers are hesitating to mentor women. The state of women in the workplace is clear: Women’s progress is stalled. So what’s an organization to do?   It’s time to bring on the male allies. Male Allyship, defined as men supporting women in the workplace, can be a powerful force for change in an organization. Male allies [...]

Q&A on Strategic Gender Equality with Jodi Detjen  

Orange Grove Consulting Managing Partner Jodi Detjen was recently quoted in a Boston Globe article about getting women into the top ranks of leadership.  In the article, Jodi says that, “commitments to increase leadership consist of, say, sending employees to the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Instead, firms should be taking a more strategic approach, such as revamping performance reviews and tracking promotions by gender.”    In the following Q&A, Jodi elaborates further on how organizations can take a more strategic approach to gender equality.      Q. How do you revamp performance reviews? A. Jodi Detjen When we [...]

Women Can Have it All: 10 21st C. Skills for Success

By Jodi Detjen, written in conjunction with the Third Path Institute. Why do women find work-life balance so hard?  Why is “having it all” such an elusive quest?  Why haven’t women yet reached equality in the leadership ranks? Many professional women on the pursuit of career success identify themselves through their work, abandoning their own needs and exhausting themselves in the process. After time spent on this path, many women might reach burnout and begin to opt out of their career. But the truth is that [...]

Ready to Be a Male Ally? Try Looking Through These “Ally Lenses”

As we launch our Male Allyship survey, we wanted to present a male point-of-view on the topic. We turned to one of our diversity partners, Eric Ratinoff, to share his view of Male Allyship, and what he thinks men can do to support women in the workplace. Ready to Be a Male Ally? Try Looking Through These "Ally Lenses" By Eric Ratinoff If you’re ready to become a better ally for women in your workplace, the Internet is loaded with recommendations of specific [...]

Women-Only Leadership Training: Why it Matters

One piece of the gender parity puzzle that we concentrate on at Orange Grove Consulting is women’s leadership development. The most common response we receive: “Isn’t separating out women exclusive and unfair? Men don’t get that opportunity.”  I recently spoke at the Society for Women Engineers’ annual conference. Engineering is extremely male-dominated (only 18 – 20 % of engineering students are women). But being at this conference — surrounded by 12,000 other female engineers — was empowering. For the first time in their careers, many women experienced connectedness rather than [...]

Dispelling the Top 5 Myths About Women in the Workplace

By Kelly Watson and Jodi Detjen Myths are stories we believe are true but are in fact not. In our research, and work with companies and women, we’ve consistently found that women are being held back because of myths. These assumptions keep women from advancing in their careers and in the leadership pipeline. We want to shift that. From their capabilities to their ambitions, check out the common assumptions that women face in the workplace and ways to reframe them. Myth #1: Women [...]

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