We know that representation matters, and Girls Group is committed to developing a diverse workforce that reflects the young women we serve. We believe that advancing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion will build a better future for all members of Girls Group. We strive to approach the daily work with humility, curiosity, and authentic engagement.
Diversity is when everyone is invited to the party,
Equity is when everyone gets to contribute to the playlist,
and Inclusion is when everyone has the opportunity to dance.
– Vernā Myers
Girls Group DEI Theory and Philosophy
Girls Group is a diverse group of people who care about empowering girls and young women, social justice and equity, and coming together to make a collective and lasting impact. This is the heart and soul of who we are.
As we think about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) when we enter into community with each other, we commit to:
- Act with curiosity, humility, and active listening
- Honor each of our stories
- Be present for each other, with open hearts and open minds
- Strive for connection and empathetic action in every moment
- Hold grace and space for mistakes
- Face our fears and name them
- Extend empathy and active listening to all participants in the conversation
We know that repeated exposure to implicit biases and micro-aggressions leads to unhealthy environments for the young women we serve, their families, and for staff members. Organizations that understand DEI and integrate it into every aspect of what they do are healthier, resilient, innovative, and boast thriving staff communities.
Organizations need to view DEI not as a checkbox, but as a continuous process of examination and change to organizational culture. We consider this as having three elements: building internal capacity to develop new skills and competencies, creating an environment where people can talk productively about issues related to race, and developing equitable systems internally and externally.
While senior leadership holds both the authority and responsibility for modeling a personal commitment to systemic change, all employees should explicitly support and contribute to a workplace culture that promotes DEI. This includes the concept of “collective accountability”, the belief that we are responsible for other people’s actions by tolerating, ignoring, or harboring them, without actively collaborating in these actions. This concept doesn’t intend to lay blame for past harm, but rather to embrace the idea that even if we did not personally cause harm, we all have the responsibility to remedy it.
DEI learning should be ongoing, and embedded in the learning philosophy. Priorities should include:
- Self-development, self-education, self-awareness, self-inquiry, and personal change
- Creation of culturally inclusive work and learning groups
- Fostering capacity to create, critically analyze, implement, and advocate for equitable and inclusive organizational norms, policies, and practices
We acknowledge systemic racism and commit to implementing processes to upend it. We start from a place where everyone must understand and acknowledge that systemic racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigns value based on the social interpretation of physical characteristics (such as skin color), in a way that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities while benefiting others. We will create safe spaces for people of color and white people to acknowledge the emotional toll of bias, discrimination, and racism on people of color, and to engage in honest conversation, learning, and healing.
- Equity and Inclusion: The Roots of Organizational Well-Being. Stanford Social Innovation Review (2020).
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report Card. EarthJustice (2019).