Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Recommended Reading

For several years, the HR NOLA team has been engaged members of several local SHRM Chapters. These days, our very own Human Resources Business Partner Germaine Townsend is leading the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for NOLA SHRM! Over the last year many HR professionals and business leaders have benefited from Germaine’s leadership with the NOLA SHRM Diversity Book Club. 

Germaine led the Book Club launch in June of 2020, with the goal of initiating discourse on difficult topics. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee is committed to increasing their members’ skills in having these conversations and has been instrumental in furthering our own team’s education and abilities at HR NOLA. 

Germaine’s Recommended Books

The first book club read was We Can’t Talk About That at Work, by Mary France Winters. November’s discussion profiled How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. They started the year with an enlightening discussion of Let Them See You by Porter Braswell.

Our founder, Amy Bakay has been reading along and has found these books to be enlightening and instructive. She says “I have recently been in a discussion where quotes from one of these books was used, which sparked a greater conversation between new acquaintances about respectful communications at work that otherwise would not have transpired so easily. We suddenly found a common thread, a shared language, which immediately put us all at ease.”

Continual Development For Leaders 

Reading is an essential component of leadership development. Good reading habits can make you a better communicator, help you understand diverse perspectives and make you more comfortable in some professional environments. 

For business leaders, promoting a business-led book club can lead to greater employee engagement. By fostering an environment of transparency, personal growth, and professional development, you’ll see your company culture begin to prosper. Take the time to learn what your team values, and start earning their trust! Discussions about books can help open the door to conversations your employees need to have and can lead to greater understanding among your staff. 

The NOLA SHRM DEI committee will host book club discussions once a quarter. In the meantime, if you would like to further your own organization’s learning and understanding and have a conversation with Germaine about her experiences leading these sessions, please reach out to us directly. We love HR so that you don’t have to!

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