I am currently part of a collaborative project with a group of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practitioners. As part of that I have been gathering my thoughts on what I see as the necessary traits of an effective practitioner and I thought over the next month, I would share these as a mini-series. Enjoy and I hope you find it useful.
Motivation and drive are a key part of working in this space. There are fundamentally two types of motivation – intrinsic (internally driven) or extrinsic (externally driven). Those driven by intrinsic factors work in the field because of a core belief that the work is personal and it’s important. They tend to have a personal reason, a sense of purpose, a mission and for some it is a vocation. This may be due to their own experiences of discrimination, exclusion or injustice. They know what it is like to be in the ‘minority’. For many, there is the ‘lived’ experience and a drive to or internal sense to ‘fix the issue’.
For others, the reason is more extrinsic. It could form part of their job portfolio or it could be a stepping stone on their career ladder or it’s where they find themselves through the work journey. For some of these individuals, they will fulfil the requirements and move on whereas for others it awakens a sense of purpose and they stay on the field.
Regardless, it is useful to understand your own motivations because when things/projects/conversations get difficult as they inevitably do in this space, the reason for being in the game becomes important for your own sense of sanity.