Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are critical concepts that are becoming increasingly important in today’s world. DE&I is about creating an environment that values, respects and includes people of all backgrounds and identities, recognizing that we all have unique experiences and perspectives that shape how we see the world. This can be achieved through a commitment to recognizing and addressing the effects of historical and systemic discrimination, promoting fairness and equity, and creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels respected and valued.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, understanding and implementing DE&I principles is essential for the success of your business. Failure to consider DE&I can lead to a homogeneous workforce, lack of understanding of your customer base, and ultimately, lack of innovation and missed business opportunities. This is particularly important for online tutors, as they have to be very mindful of how they conduct their business and ensure that they are creating an inclusive and equitable environment for their students and employees. DE&I is not just a “nice to have” or a “box-checking” exercise, but it is a critical aspect of running a successful and sustainable business. By committing to DE&I, entrepreneurs and small business owners can create a more innovative and empathetic workforce, better serve their diverse customers, and ultimately achieve better business results.
Online tutors should be careful to follow DE&I guidelines because it is important to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of their background or identity. This includes being aware of and addressing any unconscious biases or stereotypes that may influence the way they interact with and teach their students. Additionally, DE&I helps to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed, which is essential for creating a fair and just society. Failure to follow DE&I guidelines can lead to discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion of certain groups, which can have negative consequences for both the affected students and the overall learning environment. It also will put your business reputation at risk.
Here are some situational examples:
- Unconscious bias: An online tutor may unconsciously assume that a student from a certain cultural background is not as academically capable as their peers, and may therefore not provide the same level of support or challenge to that student.
- Stereotypes: An online tutor may assume that a female student is not interested in a certain subject, such as math or science, and may not provide as many opportunities for that student to engage with those subjects.
- Discrimination: An online tutor may treat a student differently based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other aspects of their identity, and may deny them opportunities or access to resources that are available to their peers.
- Marginalization: An online tutor may not take into account the unique needs and experiences of students from underrepresented groups, and may not provide them with the support and accommodations they need to succeed.
- Exclusion: An online tutor may create an environment in which certain students feel unwelcome or unsupported, and may discourage them from participating in class or seeking help when needed.
There are several ways to train oneself to DE&I in daily life:
|Educate yourself||Learn about the different forms of discrimination and bias, as well as the ways in which they can manifest in daily interactions. Read books, articles, and research papers on the subject, and attend workshops or training sessions on DE&I|
|Reflect on your own biases||Take the time to examine your own beliefs and attitudes, and consider how they may have been shaped by your upbringing, environment, and experiences. Try to identify any unconscious biases or stereotypes that you may hold.|
|Seek out diverse perspectives||Make an effort to engage with people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Listen to their stories and perspectives and try to understand their experiences.|
|Take action||Once you are aware of an issue, take steps to address it. This could mean speaking up when you witness discrimination or bias, or actively working to create a more inclusive environment in your workplace, school, or community.|
|Continuously learn and improve||DE&I is a continuous process, so it is important to continue to educate yourself and reflect on how you can improve your own practice.|