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Do we hold inclusivity as one of our core values?

Do we hold inclusivity as one of our core values?

By Spencer B. Hodgetts, Reboundog Casual Conversations

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash
Whilst driving our dogs to the vets several years ago for their annual booster shots, I recall the conversation, from my side, centred around my observation that it appears it is the white middle class ex corporate/ university educated people that make money out of helping the underdogs of society. Rather than us underdogs ourselves who generally to tend do the dirty end of volunteering work. This is not black & white, nor am I bitching that I cannot be entrepreneurial within this environment. It’s an observation which has implications around inclusivity & diversity.

Photo by SiimLukka on Unsplash
What sparked my thought was earlier in the morning I had been researching contact details which might be beneficial to a cafe owner who was expanding. With my brain being like a mind map of connections I thought of a local media company who specialised in food. On the media company’s website was a review of an event they had organised to support a victims charity. Nothing wrong with that except it had me thinking it’s strange how money is made by being patronising (as in being a patron). Thus, it is only those rich enough to have the society connections and have the funds who can take the benefactors glory without actually getting their hands dirty. Then through the publicity kudos attract more clients & hence more wealth.

If post COVID-19 are we really serious about creating a new normal that is truly inclusive & diverse?

Photo by SiimLukka on Unsplash
Will we be satisfied that we have achieved inclusivity & diversity when there is a broader spectrum of Ethnic, Indigenous & LGBT pet rescuers & dog trainers? By what metric will we define and are we to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by which to measure our progress?
An example of short-sighted metrics in a different field is that the trade union movement in the UK, at least, believed itself to be supporting sustainability by endorsing the building of new nuclear power stations. On the assumption that it was a carbon free energy which created jobs. But those jobs are only in large numbers in the construction phase; so what is the cost to society in unemployment benefits afterwards?… Sustainable I don’t think so.

Or do we copy a previous UK government initiative of widening motorways /highways (some of which I’d landscaped what is now 30 -40 years ago on the false assumption that they were not transient landscapes) just for the sake of short-term job creation? Without considering the long-term implications of transport infrastructure.

Maybe we haven’t yet totally moved away from the patterns of empirical & industrial conditioning.
As we progress towards a more empathetic society it could be poignant to observe research findings in DDI’s (Development Dimensions International) 2016 report “High Resolution Leadership”. In which Empathy tops the list as the critical driver of overall performance. It observed that ‘only 40% of front-line leaders are proficient or strong in empathy’ and ‘European leaders are less naturally empathetic & may succumb to silos’ with regard to creating Collaborative and Diversified Networks.

Photo by Barthelemy de Mazenod on Unsplash
There is much current talk about emulating the symbiotic relationships found within the natural world to produce idyllic human societies. Whilst there are those who run off to hug a tree and then believe that they & the world are now saved; we should realise that not all symbiotic relationships benefit all participants.
Referring back to my earlier observations of the patron & the underdog along with an inclusive & diverse pet rescue sector. We would we wise to observe different examples of symbiotic relationships.

• Mutualism: symbionts benefit from each other
• Commensalism: one symbiont benefits without harming the other
• Parasitism: one species thrives on causing the other harm
• Amenalism: competition, one species emerges winner
• Antibiosis: one organism killed by chemical secretion of another
• Synnecrosis: interaction is detrimental to both organisms.
I trust that this article will stimulate the ongoing conversation around Inclusivity & Diversity and in doing so will give hope to the disruptors that we do not have to fit a preconceived paradigm to be able to inclusively participate.

© Spencer B. Hodgetts Reboundog Casual Conversations

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