White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Originally posted,

This is a great book for anyone, and should be mandatory reading for any leader or manager. The initial provocative idea, defining and owning up to a white racial identity is the central idea of the book. However, I took away some other great points made by the author. Some of these thoughts had floated around my head and I needed the gentle push to move them from suggestions and conceptual, to definitive and needing actualization. First, to have an inclusive culture, it is necessary to have a culture that allows for safe and open discussion of diversity, and reinforces the need for people to listen and take feedback. In most companies that I’ve been part of, discussions of racial or national differences were always shut down. This speaks toward both fear, and the assumption that a person’s concept of the norm is universal. I love how this book talked about how that reinforces racism. The theme of managing and improving our own racist behaviours as being our responsibility, and not that of the victim is a great note. As an engineer, the chapter that racism is not a boolean state and is a continuum, resonated as well.