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Independence Day: expecting freedom for all


The end of June finds us between Juneteenth and the Fourth of July, both freedom-oriented holidays that commemorate significant events in U.S. history.

For many, however, there’s a disconnect between the freedoms that were afforded on paper in the past and those that are actually enjoyed today. For example, innumerable studies have shown that women and underrepresented minorities continue to be paid less than their male, caucasian counterparts across a variety of industries. So, if all are created equal, but the means by which we can pursue life, liberty, and happiness are not, can we truly lay claim to being “the land of the free?”

Please don’t misunderstand, I love the country I live in and am thankful to call this place home, but how many of our patriotic sayings have become hollow shells of their original promise? It reminds me of the companies that spent so many resources on advertising and performative allyship strategies following George Floyd’s murder in 2020. Outwardly, they fervently supported the Black community and called for an end to systemic racism. Internally, however, they failed to make lasting, impactful changes within their own organizations to ensure inclusivity and equity for their employees. This led to DEI initiatives that ended before they even began.

We have to stop saying one thing and then doing something else. If you’re a company leader, take a hard look at how you’re leading your organization. Where is your leadership lending lip service where there should be substantive change? Are there inequities in your recruiting and hiring processes that diminish opportunities for women and underrepresented communities? Do you even know if your current team feels seen, included, and valued at work?

I believe it was Maya Angelou who said “no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” This Independence Day, take one step to set your organization apart from those who are simply talking the talk when it comes to DEI. Not sure which step to take? I’d love to help you find a great place to start.

Stacey Gordon, MBA
Rework Work CEO


Unsure of how you feel about these issues? Discover your unique DEI perspectives with our free DEIQ Quiz! This tool was designed to help you assess your own core values and attitudes towards DEI, as well as understand those currently displayed in your workplace by both leadership and team members. Your personalized results will not only offer you insights into your own perspectives and values, but also empower and equip you to create change in your own spheres of influence. 

Simply Good
Lead with Inclusion: Inclusive Actions at Work with Stacey Gordon

Rethinking Juneteenth: Symbolism vs. Action

While I don’t celebrate Juneteenth, my issue isn’t with Juneteenth itself. It’s that making Juneteenth a federal holiday hasn’t done anything to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, or belonging. Instead, companies are spending energy and marketing dollars on performative allyship with themed products, services, sales, and the like, but aren’t committed to any real, lasting changes for their marginalized employees or customers. If you’re ready to end the show and initiate substantive, impactful changes in your workplace, here is a great place to start.

Simply Good (3)

Navigate the Skies with DEI
June 27, 2024; 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET

Today is the day! Join Stacey and Captain Beth Powell as they discuss the challenges women and underrepresented minorities face in the aviation industry, as well as career-pathing, the power of mentorship, and role-modeling, which can relate to any industry.

Unconscious Inclusion — June Open Discussion Lab
Friday, June 28, 2024; 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET

Join us for another chat supporting your inclusion efforts in your workplaces, led by Stacey Gordon. This month’s theme is “Going Beyond Labels.”

Since we’ll be wrapping up a celebration of Pride month, we want to focus on the labels we carry and go beyond them to the core of who we are authentically. With the question of, is that possible at work? RSVP now!

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Independence Day: expecting freedom for all
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