A person's shoes are shown from POV, standing over a puddle, where the person's outline is reflected

Reflections on Equity and Diversity Work

More insights on what it’s like squeezing in my personal research admist a long (paid) working day. I also discuss why I’m getting ready to give a talk about my professional experiences working in equity and diversity.

Today, I had many back to back meetings, mostly about our media and communications strategy. We are hoping to launch our social media channels. We’re also getting a new website. I co-manage our communications strategy with my Director.

My day ended with a workshop with my colleague. We’re trying to think through ideas for possible behavioural interventions to improve outcomes for disabled workers.

Now it’s 9.50pm. I’ll spend at least another hour on my personal research, practising my talk. I usually practice all my talks, but for this talk, there’s a personal dynamic. I’m presenting on my professional career as an equity and diversity practitioner. My talk is about the contradictions and challenges that women of colour face. We’re hired to transform institutions, but the institutions push back. The work is difficult. We face a lot of racism in trying to address social justice and looking at issues affecting other minorities, especially transgender people and disabled people.

I’ve wanted to write this paper for five years, but it hasn’t come together until now because I needed to heal and get over the trauma of this work. The other tricky thing was whittling down the length. I had so many examples I had drawn on, but I only have 20 minutes. Writing the ending was very hard. When these stories are told, they usually end on a positive note. We’re often told to focus on the progress. People want to hear that things are getting better, ‘let’s keep fighting.’ That attitude is counter-productive for equity and diversity work. If things were getting better, we wouldn’t still have discrimination.

I’m going to get back to work now.

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off work to attend an academic workshop, but thankfully I’m not presenting.

I don’t often get to go to sociology conferences connected to my personal research. I speak at a lot of conferences and workshops in my paid work, but we are not supported to go to academic conferences.

By the way, if you’re wondering how I do these A Day in Applied Sociology updates, I record them as Instagram stories, which enables me to take a break from written work, and capture my day in a less labour intensive way. Then I transcribe and publish here on my blog!

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