In case you missed it live, please do yourself a favor and check out the Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity presentation from ChannelCon 2021.
Of course you should watch everything ever done by CompTIA, but let's be realistic. If you want to boil it down to advice that will help your company move faster and make more money, then you need to zoom into the best bits of advice. :-)
I'm here for you. This links goes right to the beginning of the ATTD presentation: https://youtu.be/HaWXtmpeFBw?t=2797
Are Employees "Covering"?
This was a new concept for me. It makes sense, and I kind of knew it was going on, but I didn't know it was a formal thing with a name. Covering refers to hiding parts of yourself so you feel you can fit in at work. This includes assimilating with established norms.
This behavior is particularly common for entry-level employees. They want to fit in and get ahead. So breaking norms is generally not part of their strategy for success. Over time, it becomes harder and harder to break out of the norms.
Hence the concept of "Bringing your whole self to work." When we hide pieces of who we are, we literally don't bring our full collection of talents to the job.
This can be as simple as the hobbies and interests of the leaders. Many of us are not sportsball fans, so we either opt out of those conversations with the "in" crowd, or try to pretend that we are interested. But covering is also very common regarding topics of gender, race, and even age.
Overall, this is an interesting topic that gets back to the concept of increasing diversity by creating a work environment that enables and welcomes diversity.
Give it a listen. Comments welcome.
CompTIA's Advancing Tech Talent and Diversity Community
For more information, and to get involved, visit https://connect.comptia.org/connect/communities/advancing-tech-talent-and-diversity-community
Full disclosure: I sit on the Executive Council for this community.