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Unconscious bias training won't solve your inclusion problems

Protocol Workplace

Good morning! Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern workplace. Today: Protocol's guide to the inclusive workplace, how companies are handling burnout, and the state of women in the workplace.

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—Amber Burton, Reporter (Twitter | email)

The Big Picture

Creating the inclusive workplace

This week our team of workplace reporters released our first Workplace manual all about inclusion in the workplace. We interviewed dozens of tech leaders, diversity experts and workers to learn more about the state of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in what ways tech companies still need to grow.

Our lead story by my colleague Megan Rose Dickey pinpoints where companies should start when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Here's a hint: Most companies are starting in the wrong place.

When it comes to DEI, most corporate leaders start with diversity efforts, when experts say they should instead start with a collective understanding of inclusion.

  • "If you're not managing your inclusive practices or auditing how you're not being inclusive, you run the risk of harming the diverse talent you seek to bring in," said Rachel Williams, head of equity, inclusion and diversity at X: the moonshot factory to Protocol.
  • Making sure employees are on the same page when it comes to inclusion is key to sparking change within an organization. While some believe inclusion means tolerance of differences, experts say the true definition of inclusion is creating an environment where people feel they are welcome, safe and that they belong.
  • "True inclusion is where everybody has the potential to access power and have control," said Y-Vonne Hutchinson, founder and CEO of the DEI consulting firm ReadySet.

Training is only one of the many tools leaders should utilize to tackle DEI in today's workplace. While you might want to jump right into Inclusion training, experts say not to stop there. My colleague Anna Kramer spoke to ten leaders who are changing the way we think about constructing an inclusive workplace.

Last, Bernard Coleman, Uber's ex-diversity lead, spoke with Protocol about why and how leaders can avoid performative allyship.

  • "You've been hearing about the big quit or the big resignation, and talent has a lot of leverage right now and they want to know if companies are committed. So I would say to company leaders, find your 'why,' speak your values, be your values and be consistent about it and then grow from there," Coleman told Protocol.

Read the smartest ways to think about DEI in 2021 and find the full report here.

Work Spot

Burnout benefits

The latest work perk in tech is targeting burnout. For years, the culture of tech companies has rewarded those who stayed at the office the longest. But as the pandemic inches on and the stress of working in an ever-changing work environment heightens, so does the feeling of burnout among employees. Some companies are responding by mandating employees to take days and even entire weeks off to recharge and take care of their mental health. In May, training software company Lessonly gave all of its employees a week off to fight burnout. Other companies like HubSpot and Google have announced similar initiatives.

Read the full story here.


The Qualtrics Vaccination & Testing Manager enables you to quickly and securely track vaccination status, negative test results, and exemptions, so you and your employees can safely return to the physical workplace. Qualtrics helps you remain compliant with the federal mandate, reduce risk, avoid fines, and protect employee health.

Learn more

Today's Tips & Tools

Have you encountered the colleague who never fails to send their "just following up" message via Slack right at 9am? They're not totally neurotic. They likely scheduled their message the night before. Many have found that scheduling messages helps to reinforce work-life boundaries. Here's how you can schedule your messages ahead of time in Slack.

  • Why you should do this: Because your colleagues don't want to have a panic attack every time they see a Slack notification at 11 p.m.
  • How to do it: Start by typing up your message to the desired person or channel as usual. Before clicking the little paper airplane icon to send, click on the downward facing carrot to the right of the symbol (It's small and easy to overlook). Click "Custom Time," and enter the date and time you would like for your message to send. You can also send recurring messages to remind colleagues of important events or information on a certain day and time. In the desired channel type: /remind followed by the name of the team channel in which you want to set the reminder and tag the team. In the same message type your reminder, the desired time and the day. For example: /remind #team-workplace Hey @workplace-team Tell your friends to subscribe to Protocol's workplace newsletter! Every Tuesday at 9am. That's it! You just set up a team reminder.
  • Best use case: When you need a little help reminding your team of important news or events.

Upcoming Events

What the vaccine mandate means for your workplace

President Biden's mandate that companies with over 100 employees will require COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing has some wondering just how companies will enforce this rule. Join Protocol on September 30 for a conversation with employment and HR experts about what the vaccine mandate means for your company. Panelists will discuss best practices, how to prepare and the most effective ways to handle vaccination exemptions and testing.


By The Numbers

Women are carrying more of an emotional load at work

McKinsey and's annual Women in the Workplace report released on Monday found that women are still doing the bulk of the emotional labor at work. Women have become more likely than men to provide the emotional and managerial support employees needed over the past year.

  • Senior leaders who identify as women were 60% more likely to provide emotional support to their teams.
  • Women were 24% more likely to ensure their teams' workload was manageable.
  • The study also found women were 26% more likely to help their team members navigate work/life challenges.
  • Last, compared to men at the same level, senior level women were twice as likely to spend time on DEI work for their organization. They also take on more allyship actions at work like mentorship and confronting discrimination, according to the report.

Making Moves

  • Virgin Galactic hired Aparna Chitale as its new chief people officer. Chitale was most recently the vice president of human resources at Disney Parks Experiences and Products.
  • Flex Ltd. hired Xavier Boza as its chief human resources officer. Prior to joining Flex, Boza was executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Campbell Soup Company.


The Qualtrics Vaccination & Testing Manager enables you to quickly and securely track vaccination status, negative test results, and exemptions, so you and your employees can safely return to the physical workplace. Qualtrics helps you remain compliant with the federal mandate, reduce risk, avoid fines, and protect employee health.

Learn more

Around The Internet

A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.

  • The future of work might include a few more gadgets than your ancient work laptop.
  • Gig workers and content creators alike are tiring of the "platform economy."
  • Despite the gradual return, some industry leaders still believe the future of work is remote.
  • People are realizing that Biden's vaccine mandate for large companies is not quite a mandate. There's a pretty clear loophole.
  • Noncredit programs at community colleges are helping to fuel the labor market.
  • One fun tweet: Dispatches from the 4-day work week.

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to Have a great week, see you Friday.

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