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Diversity and Inclusion

What does it mean – what does it look like?  Where do we, as individuals, stand on the issue? If we believe it exists(and it does), do we see it?  If we see it, what do we do about it?  Does it surround us or do we surround it? Do we acknowledge the presence or do we look the other way?  All good questions we should ask ourselves regarding Race, Religion, Gender, Sexual orientation, Age, Socio-economic Status or Physical Disabilities.

If we are being completely honest with ourselves, we have witnessed some form of Diversity resistance or lack of Inclusion.  It can be as simple as an overt personality not fitting into our team.  Or, it can be more discreet, as in not promoting an individual who does not 
“look like us” or “think like us.”  Maybe we cannot see their strengths and value to the overall prosperity of our company because they are different.  

Females and males alike are being judged each day by their peers and management teams.  Do we possess the ability to look past our perceived ideas of what a successful teammate looks like?  In our organization, do we speak up when we see injustice or do we look the other way?  Are we afraid to take a positive stance for a peer who might have a difference of opinion?  Are we willing to risk our position to support those who think and act differently?  

Along with experience, hopefully comes wisdom – the wisdom to acknowledge and welcome the benefits of having a diverse group of people around us.  Let us ask ourselves, are we open to new ideas and risk giving up “the way we have always done it,” to embrace diversity as a positive force in our workplace?  

Learning cultural differences in all aspects of life will assist us professionally and personally to become a better person.  We need to rise up to the challenge in our industry- Inclusion for all!

Provided by:
Deborah Gadberry, CMB
VP, Mortgage Operations Manager
Franklin Synergy Bank

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