BY REBECCA CHANNER, Founder & CEO, ProsperCity

It was an ‘old school’ move, but I went to a brick-and-mortar bookstore a few weeks back and purchased several bound books with paper pages, including To Sell is Human (Pink) and Dare to Lead (Brown).

Reading through the pile of books left me feeling just one way: uncomfortable. Not only because the task of launching a game-changing social venture is brave work, but because the product we are ‘selling’ is unconventional and unprecedented. It is also values-based and mighty tender, which occasionally makes everyone uncomfortable.

Is it okay that a white human is heading up a company trying to advance inclusion, equity and diversity in the workplace? Is being a queer woman enough representation?

What if employers won’t courageously choose transparency when posting jobs? What if we upset business owners when they realize their hiring practices—despite good intentions—are perpetuating discrimination and gender wage gaps?

What if we can’t build up enough revenue to keep growing? What if we don’t make this vital change, this cultural shift that feels so important and so firmly attached to my purpose on the planet?

What if we can?

What if people are ready? I meet individuals every day who are willing to brave the discomfort, who are more fierce than fragile. They are ready for greater transparency and greater belonging. They are ready to do the work.

Community leaders: ready. Job seekers: super ready. Employers: mostly ready. What will it take to be fully ready?

It is often assumed that addressing discrimination and disparity in our work places and social spaces will be hard, painful work. Work that may cause more harm than healing.

What would happen if we changed our mindset? What if we saw this work as more vital than hard? What if it felt meaningful instead of painful?

What if playing a role in creating places and spaces where people belong is one of the most important things you do?

What if together is better?

If we are going to work together—and together is always better—then we must start by developing the skill called empathy. Empathy is our best chance at togetherness, our best shot at cultivating cultures of belonging.

Equity, diversity and inclusion cannot be achieved without empathy. And, to develop empathy, we must lean in.

How might we lean in better together? Not only to the tasks and urgency of a bottom line, but to each other, to truth, openness, and a commitment to be the rising tide that lifts all ships.

Will you join me in this revolution?

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