From the Experts: Five Holistic Approaches to Embracing Diversity

At Philanthropy Roundtable, we believe philanthropy is uniquely positioned to lead in offering an equality-based, holistic framework for embracing diversity that empowers charitable organizations with the freedom and flexibility to advance their missions and help those in need.

Through our True Diversity initiative,  we seek to amplify the voices of those who promote equality for all and pursue innovative efforts that uplift communities and bring people together.

Philanthropy Roundtable recently interviewed key thought leaders about their approaches and the resources they have developed to increase diversity in the workplace – and provide more holistic alternatives to current diversity and inclusion efforts. Below is a brief summary of each:

  • John Chisholm – Charting a Holistic Approach to Diversity and Inclusion – Silicon Valley entrepreneur John Chisholm explains his holistic approach to diversity and inclusion, merit and combating polarization in the workplace. Chisholm says diversity includes “hundreds of attributes that make us unique as individuals,” and these varied experiences and viewpoints “improve our thinking, sharpen debate and foster innovation.” He advises businesses and universities to embrace a broad set of diversity-related criteria, assess their recruitment processes to grow candidate pools and seek varied viewpoints, among other recommendations.  He also addressed the need to include a full spectrum of diversity in trainings, including aspects like geographic diversity.
  •  Chloé Valdary – Theory of Enchantment – Chloé Valdary is the owner of Theory of Enchantment, a company that offers a diversity and inclusion program emphasizing love. She believes many current diversity trainings inject toxicity into workplaces, schools and other institutions — and even reinforce racial stereotypes. By contrast, Valdary says her approach encourages people to treat each other as individuals, focusing on “social-emotional learning, character development and interpersonal growth as tools for leadership development in the boardroom and beyond.”
  • Karith Foster – Inversity Solutions – Speaker and comedian Karith Foster is the owner of Inversity Solutions. Her program, INVERSITY™, gets its name as the inverse of the word “Diversity,” which she says has divide or division at its root. INVERSITY™ is intended to “take division out of diversity” by focusing on what unites people rather than what divides them. Foster’s clients range from institutions of higher education and school districts to corporations. She offers multiple programming options, including keynotes, workshops, consulting, online learning and executive leadership retreats. One of her key priorities is to lend support to those in leadership positions, such as chief diversity officers.
  • Stephanie Holmes – BrighterSideHR – BrighterSideHR Founder Stephanie Holmes says her company provides human resources consulting and training to employers of all sizes, helping them “maintain a productive, compliant and optimistic workplace culture.” BrighterSideHR’s approach focuses on cultivating respect for viewpoint diversity and valuing employees as unique individuals, offering “general advice around HR policies and strategy” and helping employers “approach diversity and inclusion in a way that not only mitigates legal risk, but also promotes unity among employees.
  • Caroline Mehl – Constructive Dialogue Institute – In her role as co-founder and executive director of the Constructive Dialogue Institute, Caroline Mehl advises workplaces, universities, philanthropists and communities on how to create more open and inclusive cultures. The Constructive Dialogue Institute offers a blended learning training program called Perspectives, which takes “psychological insights about what leads to divisions and distills them into bite-sized practical skills and knowledge that help foster openness to diverse perspectives and equip people with tangible strategies for navigating differences more effectively.” Companies typically integrate Perspectives into their diversity training, offering it as part of new employee onboarding, leadership development training and making it available across organizations through internal learning management systems.

If you’re interested in learning more about these leaders and organizations or about Philanthropy Roundtable’s True Diversity initiative, please visit Philanthropy Roundtable’s website for more information.

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