Trolls World Tour: What We Can Learn about Diversity and Inclusion From Our Favorite Trolls

Differences matter. Our creativity comes from our culture, our history, our stories. Be brave enough to believe the world can change. Trolls is Trolls.

Those are the surprising lessons from Trolls World Tour. A film as fun as it is perfect for this moment. And thanks to a certain 3 year old in the house, a movie I’ve gotten to enjoy multiple times a day since we got it =)

The thing about diversity is it’s misunderstood. It’s under the surface due to unconscious bias. It’s lonely due to the small number of diverse individuals in many organizations. It’s ineffective without being pared with inclusion. And It’s under appreciated, in the positive impact it can have on individuals, teams, and society as a whole.

So what can you do to promote diversity and inclusion in your company? Start with education, learning more about unconscious bias and the challenges facing women and minorities is a key first step.

Next comes advocacy. Here are some practical things to advocate for:

1. Ensure you’re evaluating diverse panels with two or more diverse candidates when it comes to hiring, promotions, and team selection for projects. Research shows that we can overcome unconscious bias and choose the best candidate by ensuring we have 2 or more diverse candidates in a panel.

2. Perform an equal pay analysis in your organization and correct any pay disparities. Women continue to get penalized by perpetuating low salaries from previous roles/companies. Break the chain and make the correction. It’s important to look at equity as well as cash compensation.

3. Form affinity groups within your company and/or your industry for women and minoritie. We formed a group for women in our industry in my last role and it was incredibly effective on so many levels. Most notably creating a space where people can share their challenges provides a powerful and reassuring shared experience. Additionally there is power in numbers and knowing you’re not alone.

I had the privilege of giving (virtually) my TED talk on gender equity to a group of female executives last week and it was inspiring to relive some of these dynamics. Experiencing their strength and hearing their challenges was yet another reminder of the potential we have and the work that remains so vitally important.

So definitely check out Trolls World Tour and my TED talk (link below) for some inspiration and take some positives steps towards diversity, inclusion, and gender equity. Together we can change the world.