Daisy Auger-Dominguez On Igniting An Inclusion Revolution

Daisy Auger-Dominguez has made it her mission to make workplaces more equitable, compassionate and inclusive. A human capital executive and workplace culture strategist, Daisy inspires and equips global organizations to think inclusively, lead with purpose, embrace courage and shape the future of work. As the Chief People Officer at VICE Media Group, Daisy shapes, builds and reinforces the culture of the Vice teams, promotes professional growth, engagement and development, helps to accelerate business performance and champions an equitable and inclusive employee experience. Prior to VICE Media Group, Daisy founded and led Auger-Domínguez Ventures, a consultancy that transformed the leading companies and organizations of our times by taking them from inclusive workplace culture theory to practice through organizational psychology, applied experimentation, strategic planning and organizational capacity building. She has designed and executed organizational transformations at Moody's Investors Service, The Walt Disney Company and Google. Her impact over the past 20 years reaches across the global business, social impact, entrepreneurial and philanthropic communities. Here, she shares practical ways to increase inclusivity in our offices.

Your life’s work is driving inclusion and belonging in the workplace. What does it mean to truly belong?

I have dedicated my career to removing the roadblocks that make workplaces unwelcoming, unequal, and often unsafe to women, BIPOC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other non-normative people because I know firsthand the marginalization and loneliness these employees experience in the workplace.

In the early part of my career, as the only Latina and youngest person in most rooms, I often fell prey to what Kenyi Yoshino has coined “covering”, the practice of downplaying who you are to survive in an organizational context. You simply can’t perform at your best when you’re constantly modifying or playing down who you are, including your appearance, body language, abilities and communication style.

It’s possible for people to be invited to important meetings and be asked to speak up, and still to not feel that people like them belong there. We all want to be where we are supported and encouraged to grow. Instead, many of us, especially women of color, are tolerated yet not accepted; we are put on display for optics, yet disempowered and silenced.

Belonging means this is a place where I don’t have to constantly calculate which parts of myself to bring forward and which parts to blend. I know that my whole truth matters. I can fail fast and recover quickly, and I am essential to the team.

The world has changed and employee attitudes have shifted. Employees want a sense of connection, clarity on purpose - why they work and for what, and to be seen, valued and understood. Organizations need to both invest in belonging at every level and chip away at systemic inequities and disparities by forcing the equitable prioritization of resources and decision making.

You simply can’t perform at your best when you’re constantly modifying or playing down who you are, including your appearance, body language, abilities and communication style.

How can your new book Inclusion Revolution help leaders reimagine diversity and inclusion in their offices?

For far too long, leaders have been unwilling to acknowledge the barriers that exist for historically excluded employees, and have failed to make the changes necessary to dismantle those inequities. As a result, there is so much human potential left unrealized within organizations. I want to change that.

Inclusion Revolution equips managers with the knowledge, skill set, and self-belief necessary to create workplaces that work for everyone. Packed with real life stories of success and failure, plus worksheets and checklists to establish key takeaways across the employee lifecycle (recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and advancement), Inclusion Revolution is the workplace equity guide for people who are ready to stop talking about the need for change and start making it happen.

Beginning with an internal lens, Inclusion Revolution helps you get clear on your truth and the truths of your coworkers. This first section is intended to build readiness - that’s the willingness and capacity to address organizational inequities and disparities - through deep interrogation of assumptions, fears and organizational practices, policies and systems. Operationalizing this work requires intentional action in hiring, onboarding, and other elements required to transform culture and practices. Inclusion Revolution follows the arc of the employee lifecycle and aims to fix one part of a broken system at a time. Rumbling with the uncomfortable, holding ourselves and others accountable, and making small tweaks over time are key to sustainable change.