Diversity Equity Inclusion Is The Highest Challenge For The Mind

When company faces the challenge of dealing with diversity equity inclusion, they take this challenge with their minds and think hard how to integrate more women, disable people and people with different sexualities and religions. In this keynote speech and workshop you will learn which are the burdens of DEI with a 360° view and how you can start a sustainable change with a holistic approach. Learn to feel and look beyond!

What Is Diversity Equity Inclusion?

When companies think about solving the issues of diversity equity inclusion (DEI), by hiring people for their difference in their body, attitude and culture, they are apparently concern about the integration of people with physical differences due to their phenotype, epigenetic and evolutionary psychology. However, the question they are really worried about is how can they conduct their business by hiring people with disabilities, of different races, LGBT and so on, peacefully.

Some companies implement DEI freely, because they have a spiritual leadership and business purpose, whereas others are forced by political events (George Floyd), by customer’s expectations or by law.

Switzerland introduced 2021 a gender quote.

Swiss Law Requires More Women On Board

In Switzerland listed companies should elect more women to boards of directors and executive boards and stricter transparency rules will apply to commodity companies since the introduction of New Article 734f of Code of Obligations in January 2021 about Gender Representation on the Board of Directors and in the Executive Board.

“Unless each gender is represented at least 30 per cent on the board of directors and 20 per cent on the executive board, the following shall be disclosed in the remuneration report for companies exceeding the thresholds pursuant to Article 727 paragraph 1 item 2 Swiss Obligation Code:

  1. the reasons why the genders are not represented as intended; and
  2. the measures taken to promote the less represented gender.”
diversity equity inclusion
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

Men At Work, Women With The Kids

As I perceive Switzerland society is that the majority try to adapt with family, job, home and holidays. Many people are very conservative and even if women do have a higher education, men are the ones generating the income, especially when starting a family. The cause for this structure is to find in Swiss Labour Law, in opposition of some Europeans countries. The regulations do not help women to have their financial independence:

  1. A pregnant woman may only be employed with her consent. She may be absent from or leave work on mere notice.
    For periods when the woman does not want to work, the employer does not owe any wages. Only in case of illness.
  2. The maternity leave period is just of 14 weeks. In this period the employee is entitled to is entitled to 80 per cent of her salary. Afterwords, she must go back for example to full time working. If she wants to reduce the working hours, but the employer does not agree, he is entitle to send her the notice.

On the other hand, fathers are just entitled to a paternity leave of 2 weeks, or 14 daily allowances. Paternity benefit amounts to 80% of earnings. Cantonal provisions, personnel regulations and collective employment contracts may provide for more generous arrangements. Some company grant a longer paternity leave.

I took this example to show how inequity is among us, even we might have no visible disability. Now, think how it is hard if your body has disabilities.

Hiring People with Disabilities

Employees may have also difficulties with accepting disables people because of their privileges within the company. Before explaining how to handle this issue, I would like to explain why it is important that companies give privileges due to actual legal situation in Switzerland.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in New York on 13 December 2006. The CRPD entered into force on 15 May 2014 in Switzerland. The Convention recognises disability as part of human diversity and distances itself from a concept of disability based on the notion of stigma.

For Inclusion Handicap, the Swiss umbrella organisation for people with disabilities, it is clear that in order for people with disabilities to be able to participate equally and autonomously in society, the goal must continue to be the full implementation of the UN CRPD: adjustments will be necessary at the legislative level. These concern, among others, the Disability Equality Act (BehiG), the Civil Code and also the Federal Act on Institutions for the Promotion of the Integration of Disabled Persons (IFEG).

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 13 December 2006 entered into force on 3 May 2008. It allows persons with disabilities of the State Party to this Protocol to submit a written communication to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for consideration.

For Inclusion Handicap, the Ratification of the Optional Protocol would promote equal rights for persons with disabilities. Affected persons claiming a violation of the CRPD could approach the UN Committee by means of an individual complaint after having contested the Swiss legal process up to the last domestic instance (e.g. Federal Supreme Court). However, The Swiss Federal Council goes not intend to ratify optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Now, if the Swiss Government has this kind of attitude, it may be that the majority of the population it is not inspired to give any privilege to this part of society yet. Therefore, this can be a trouble, when in a work environment frustrated employees denigrate disable persons, saying that they have more advantages and more privileges. They do not see what they bring with other skills. This is why it is important to teach employees that the company profits from all kind of different intelligence among the employees. Therefore, privileges are a tool to compensate with fairness in order to create a friendly, happy and successful environment.

Queer Theology & Spirituality

What is more, a further problem of our Western society is that Christianity does not fully accept homosexuality. The same goes for all other sexual options. Therefore, companies wonder how to integrate such persons who are bisexual, pansexual, trans or inter, when members of a team do not accept this way of living. In this case, I would first recommend to bring awareness with science.

In the book of Pine, Barnes, Pauli “Biopsychologie” I learnt that research has shown that differences in sexual orientation is influenced by genes and it is not chosen but develops very early. The very existence of non-heterosexual sexual orientation and transsexuality is an obvious problem for the “man-is-man and woman-is-woman” assumption that men and women belong to distinctive, opposing categories.
It is now clear that the brains of men and women differ in many ways and that these differences develop at different times and through different mechanisms. This means that it is possible for some individuals to be female in one respect and male in another, and to fall between the two norms in a third respect.

Secondly, I would remind that theology is evolving: queer theology says it is OK if you are not heterosexual, because God created you this way and loves you the way you are. As a result of it, the company should bring awareness about beliefs, religions and spirituality by addressing the issue from a scientific perspective.

Michael Ferguson and his team at Harvard University claim to have found that he oldest part of the human brain, an area in the brain stem, called the “periaqueductal grey” is responsible for our spirituality.

In this interview Ferguson speaks about religion, spirituality and science.

“From a neuroscientific point of view, you can say that spirituality and rationality are related.

Micheal Ferguson

Maybe this is nonsense for some people, but in any case, the only way to include diversity, it is to create a discussion platform to speak about diversity in a respectful manner in order to avoid internal fights, mobbing and so on. Even if you have are in a line of business, where you think you can survive without DEI: life may confront you with this issue in a private setting. As it happened to Elon Musk: his transgender daughter has applied to legally change her name and gender. And if it happens to one of your employee, it would help him/her to know that the people at work would not think less of him/her.

The reality is that there are 47 terms to describe sexual behavior and attraction. So my suggestion is to speak openly about it in the working environment. Take this list and send it to your employees! In this way you open up a space to clarify the unknown, which people are scared of.

Keynote Speech And Workshops On Diversity Equity Inclusion

Feel free to contact me for a keynote speech and workshops on diversity equity inclusion and how to teach employees to look beyond appearances with mindfulness and awareness exercises. Call me: 00 41 78 876 82 43.

Avv. Dipl.-Jur. Dominique Calcò Labbruzzo

Holistic Lawyer

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