Championing Diversity & Inclusiveness: The Integration of Professional Baseball
The story of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers with Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese provides a fascinating and directly relevant metaphor within which to explore the contemporary issues related to diversity and inclusiveness in the corporate context. The one-day program is interactive and rewarding and intended to enhance leadership capability in diverse and inclusive environments. Championing Diversity and Inclusiveness is about leaders creating an atmosphere for people of talent to thrive and succeed. The case studies and discussions highlight the role of leaders in supporting the visibility and involvement of high achievers from under-represented groups. The program design stresses the requirement that leaders invest real political capital in order to create a truly inclusive culture in which all forms of diversity are respected and valued.
- Enhance leadership capacity and capability in diverse and inclusive environments
- It’s about leaders creating an atmosphere for people of talent to thrive and succeed
- Highlights the role of leaders in supporting the visibility of high achievers from under-represented groups
- The program design stresses the requirement that leaders invest real political capital in order to create a truly inclusive culture in which all forms of diversity are respected and valued
- Action-planning sequence ensures that participants develop one or two concrete strategies, related directly to a real diversity or inclusiveness issue in their work environment
The Championing Diversity and Inclusiveness program uses the integration of baseball to discuss leadership and inclusiveness in business organizations. One of the powerful benefits of this program is that this unique approach is able to actively engage audience segments who typically resist or disengage early from traditional diversity messaging. The program encourages leaders to align their own values and vision with those of their organization and to model these values in a genuine way. This program provides tools and language for immediate action; participants will leave the program better able to serve as leaders for corporate diversity goals.
One Day Program
The Championing Diversity and Inclusiveness Program is designed for an audience with professional needs and sophistication beyond “sensitivity training.” The program’s purpose is to challenge and encourage leaders to actively engage elements of diversity in an inclusive and deliberate fashion. This program provides tools and language for action; participants will leave the program better able to serve as leaders for corporate diversity goals. Case studies of key personnel with the Brooklyn Dodgers provide a lens through which the mechanics and challenges of creating inclusive environments can be examined. The dynamics, issues, and “third-rail” topics can be named and explored, without defensiveness, within the context of the 1947 Dodgers, and then compared with contemporary obstacles related to diversity and inclusiveness in the corporate context.
Through the engaging case studies, participants will discuss concepts and practices that include connecting power and potential when identifying talent, addressing perceived downsides to diversity, modeling responsible elevation of issues that may be labeled “taboo” or “politically incorrect,” examining organizational culture and concepts of “fit,” mentoring and sponsoring in an inclusive environment, and developing future leaders who can do the same.
¨ Invites leaders of all backgrounds to contribute to recruiting, retention, and employee engagement diversity initiatives
¨ Participants will return to their teams better pre- pared to lead inclusively and to articulate the value of inclusive leadership
¨ Leaders learn to develop inclusive leaders on their own teamsOptional Half Day Model
An optional half-day module can be added for organizations wanting to operationalize targeted initiatives relating to diversity and inclusiveness goals. Entitled “1947-1955: Integration on Trial,” this module explores the organizational experiences of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees with regard to the business case for racial integration. The contrasting case studies of the Dodgers, who integrated in 1947, and the Yankees, who integrated in 1955, provide a fascinating and actual tem- plate from which to explore the mandate for diversity and inclusiveness in two specific business organizations, highlighting explicit strategy linkages. This half-day module builds on the one-day program, and is not designed as a stand-alone program.
Lead Facilitator for this Program
The program is facilitated by Colonel Maria del Pilar Ryan, Ph.D., U.S. Army (Retired), a former Chief of International History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A trailblazer in the Army’s experience of diversity and inclusiveness, Pilar is a graduate of one of the earliest co-ed Classes at West Point, and experienced first-hand many of the relevant dynamics of focus in the program. Colonel Ryan served in key intelligence, artillery, and strategy assignments stateside and abroad during her 27-year career as an Army officer. Most notably, she served as one of the first Army women assigned to a combat arms leadership position as commander of the largest field artillery battery in the Army at the time. Pilar currently serves as a Consulting Historian and Fellow with Battlefield Leadership, LLC, is an educator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Compass Award from the Women’s Leadership Exchange, awarded to those “who have shifted the paradigm of how women are perceived as leaders.”
Long an outspoken champion for diversity and inclusiveness, Pilar’s program facilitation is informed by her military experience and history expertise, along with her extensive and specialized knowledge and love of baseball, and her passion for the program’s subject matter. Her facilitation provides a unique perspective and powerful quality, and helps shape conversations and understanding relating to diversity and inclusiveness in any environment.