At AUAU Athletics, we believe that inclusivity (one of our three core values) and diversity are not just buzzwords but a way of life. We recognize the importance of fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected. We recently organized a thought-provoking workshop to explore what this concept truly means to our team. In this blog post, we will share some of our workshop results and the actionable insights we gained, highlighting our renewed dedication to embracing - as our team calls it, the spice of life.
The Power of Curiosity and Openness: the Spice of Life
One resounding conclusion emerging from our inclusivity workshop was the significance of curiosity and openness. Inclusivity, we realized, goes beyond mere tolerance or acceptance; it is about actively seeking out different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. By staying curious and open-minded, we enrich our own lives and create an environment that celebrates diversity.
During the workshop, our team engaged in a meaningful discussion about the essence of inclusivity. One of our conclusions: just like various spices enhance a culinary experience, embracing different cultures, perspectives, and identities adds flavour to our lives. By celebrating diversity, we can unlock new opportunities, ideas, and creativity within our organization.
Two Immediate Action Points for a More Inclusive Future
The workshop catalyzed identifying concrete action points to embed inclusivity into the fabric of AUAU Athletics. Here are some key initiatives we have committed to and can immediately start implementing:
#1 For various Bodies: Inclusive Product Development
Our commitment to inclusivity has always extended to our product offerings. We will strive to create even more diverse and inclusive collections that cater to people of all shapes, sizes, and identities by testing prototypes with athletes of various gender identities and making their feedback visible to others. We want our products to be solutions to unsolved problems and satisfy needs ignored for too long. We will continue to offer our collection in a size range we can afford to stock. We will stock sizes depending on ordered sizes in pre-order campaigns. By providing options that resonate with a wide range of customers, we hope to empower individuals to express themselves authentically. We can only achieve this through continuous conversation with athletes, which brings us to our next action point: Communication.
#2 Inclusive Communication: Employee Education and Awareness
We understand that inclusivity is an ongoing journey that requires continuous learning and growth. We will invest in educational resources, workshops, and training programs to raise awareness among our team members. By fostering a culture of empathy and understanding, we can create a safe and inclusive space for everyone.
We are a small team in which individuals wear many hats until our business grows. While embarking on our learning journey, we are aware that we have a lot to learn. Our goals for this journey: stay humble, and stay curious. We will do our best to react to feedback, provided by our community to foster inclusive communication.
We have identified several additional action points that will guide our business into the future. We will share these as we grow.
While Inclusivity and Diversity discussions are currently primarily associated with activities that tend to sound tiresome, such as work, growth, learning etc., we were surprised and a bit proud of how overwhelmingly positive words our team comes up with when thinking of inclusivity. While we ended up agreeing on “the spice of life” as the gist of what inclusivity means to us, we wanted to share some of the other words that came up during our workshop:
Space, colours, love, friend, earth, smiling, appreciating, caring, supporting, observing, experiencing, listening, educating, beautiful, umami, versatile, radiant, exciting, valuable, equal, peaceful, kind.
Inclusivity lies at the core of AUAU Athletics' values and vision. We picked it well when including it in our core values list, as our team sees it as overwhelmingly joyous. This is important moving forward because fighting for inclusivity is a marathon that requires grit best served with a smile and wink. Through our recent workshop, we reaffirmed the importance of staying curious, open, and embracing diversity. By implementing concrete action points, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment within our organization and for our customers - and we will enjoy every minute of it. We want to celebrate the uniqueness of every individual and empower everyone to unleash their full potential. We are proud of this team and ready to get to work.