Dec 01, 2017

Diversity and Inclusion: language is action

Have you ever felt you are of two worlds, but neither of those worlds are truly yours?

Last month, our Chief Learning Officer Jesse Abing was asked to speak to a room of HR professionals at an NYC Uncubed breakfast event. The goals of the attendees, like Lingo Live’s own goals, revolve around achieving diversity and inclusion by avoiding an end result of diversity and exclusion.

Originally, he was asked to put together a presentation that drew on his experience with Lingo Live and his dissertation, which focuses on how 1-on-1 interactions between native and heritage Spanish speakers influence language acquisition and belonging in relation to the learning theory communities of practice. The purpose of the breakfast event was to connect Jesse with members of the HR community to have a meaningful conversation, and Jesse planned and designed his presentation accordingly.

He followed one of Lingo Live’s core values–“lead with what you know is right”–and decided to adjust from a lecture-style presentation to an interactive conversation and dialogue. He knew that this particular audience could and would identify, discover and support D&I challenges that faced today’s HR professionals.

The conversation began with a discussion about how tech employees feel “stuck between two worlds,” and progressed into Jesse encouraging the audience to reframe their mindset through interaction to support employees’ thoughts towards “I’m right where I need to be.”

This discussion flowed into Jesse’s main point that “everyone understands what diversity is, but real inclusion is difficult to achieve.” A few of the key takeaways were:

  1. When talking about cultural differences and communication skills we must remember that they are related. How can we break down our outcomes instead of dealing with this huge topic all at once?
  2. We can’t separate culture from communication. These two concepts are so intricately entwined that it’s impossible to work on one, without acknowledging the other. Even if your organization is primarily English-speaking, we are all coming from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  3. We must encourage our employees to flex different communication muscles, to be observers of their environment, and to be lifelong learners of their environment.

Lingo Live believes in language as action. It’s part of our company mission ensure that inclusion efforts don’t fall short for tech companies around the globe, that every employee is given the chance to speak in their authentic voice. So join us in making it clear from the get-go that diversity and inclusion are important. Let’s set the precedent for the next generation of employees at our companies!

If you’d like to learn more about valuable communication techniques, self-advocacy, and career pathing, check out our leadership coaching.


–  Rachel Zolotarsky, Talent & Operations Manager, Learning & Community Team, Lingo Live

Interested in reading more about diversity and inclusion? Check out Diversity is Only the First Step Towards Inclusion and Inclusion Efforts Exclude an Important Group.





Spread the Love ❤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *