Around 12noon today August 10th, 2021, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned effective in 14-days with plans to transition to Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hocul. She will be the state’s first woman Governor.
I felt it necessary to personally address the topic from an organizational Diversity Equity Inclusion & Belonging (D&I) standpoint. NY State is Inclusion Corporation’s headquarters state and I am one of the elected members of the state’s Democratic party that signed a petition along with party members to remove The Governor on March 7th of this year. Before today Cuomo was widely predicted to be impeached by elected members across party lines in the state’s Assembly and Senate after an investigation on sexual misconduct allegations by an independent committee appointed by the Attorney General’s (AG) office.
For those of you paying attention who are in leadership roles at public or private organizations, let me quiet some of the noise, and point to the importance of the criminal findings from the AG’s investigation.
Even while journalists in the news and social media covered the allegations of Cuomo’s interaction with the alleged victims of sexual harrassment, the real crime is rooted in the elaborate retaliation strategy that was devised by Team Cuomo, against the whistleblowers who came forward to tell their stories.
When my team meets professionals about D&I the conversation immediately shifts to minority categories that those pros are aware of, like gender, race, religion, abilities, age, etc. Our team was founded to identify a lack-of-inclusivity as a financial risk. We helped Cuomo's administration become the first in the nation to state that a lack of D&I policy is a risk, because of the skyrocketing lawsuits and filing at American’s federal, state, and municipal government agencies for misconduct. The misconduct is not usually identifiable discrimination around minority categories, it is for identifiable retaliation. Did you know that +55% of all Equal Employement Opportunity Commission claims are due to retaliation? That is greater than all of the gender and racial and other claims combined. Retaliation against whistleblowers is the most threatening flaw in our corporate belonging.
Further, this is a multi-billion dollar problem, annually that both public & private organizations are estimated of spending ≥ $5 billion per year to work on. Still claims and lawsuits continue to grow each year, over the course of the past 20 years. That’s my entire professional work life.
At Inclusion Corporation and on our Inclusion Score team, we are committed to helping large and small organizations turn D&I into a service that they deliver across their organization, just like they would IT services. When we stop looking at D&I as an end, or a quote, or just diversity, and start looking at it as a Service Management Lifecycle, we can build the rigor of a non-hostile work environment into the operational policy that guide our daily change management and project execution. That’s what firms use Inclusion Score for. We're here to help.
James Felton Keith
CEO, Inclusion Corporation