CHAPTER 1This Book Is for Everyone, but Especially White Readers

The topic of race and diversity at work is a BIG DEAL—every aspect of it: building a more diverse team, making your business more inclusive, recruiting diverse new talent, rethinking business practices to make them more equitable, and more. And yet it's hard to talk about. Much of the language of diversity and the very concepts that create problems around diversity, such as systemic racism and White privilege, seem to have been adopted by the progressive left and that's a turn-off to people on the right.

As you read this book, you may disagree with many phrases and concepts. You may have “diversity fatigue.” You may roll your eyes at the concept of inequity. Even if you disagree with the language or concepts, I know you'll be on board with how diversity can help grow your business: better employee talent, greater levels of retention and engagement, more innovation, better customer experiences, higher satisfaction levels, and greater sales and profits—that's language that everyone likes.

But here's some real talk: Most White people would rather not go there. They'd rather not talk about race and diversity because it's scary, exhausting, overwhelming, and “a pain to deal with.” It's easy to say the wrong thing and face criticism. And at some organizations, diversity training feels more like “shame and blame” than skills building. Of course, the situation for many people of color is worse—they are missing out on ...

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