Don’t Tell Me That, I’m in HR, I Know Better

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Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Have Any Influence At Work

Don’t Tell Me You Need A Diversity Initiative

Don’t Tell Me You Are Just An Assistant/Manager/Don’t Have The Power.

Don’t Tell Me Fill-In-The-Blank-Excuse


I’ve said over and over again that HR Pro’s can have a significant impact on the people in our organizations and I continue to believe that and see it everyday.   One of the most  important parts of our role is to ensure people are treated fairly.

HR operates in a space where we can’t always explain details due to confidentiality. We may want to explain that Trudy is “no longer with the company” because she was a poor performer but we can’t make a public announcement.  That is why it is critical that we hold ourselves accountable and actively strive to ensure that people are being treated in a fair and consistent manner.   

When you think equality at work,  you probably think of the high level stuff – EEOC reporting,  affirmative action plans and diversity initiatives to name just a few.  Those can be great tools but they are meaningless if we don’t follow the spirit of these initiatives in our daily actions.  

That means:

  • Pushing for women and minorities of similar background and experience to receive equal pay treatment
  • Ensuring that employees are treated fairly when it comes to promotional opportunities, pay increases and other organizational moves through transparent processes and policies.
  • Standing up for employees rights when they don’t know their own rights.     
  • Help managers and employees see that people with non-traditional backgrounds are an asset to the company.  Diversity comes in many shapes, sizes, lifestyles and backgrounds!

That list isn’t conclusive but it is just a couple ways I have personally pushed for equality and fairness at work.  I’m not the most popular person (really,  if you are in HR you shouldn’t be going for that award anyway) but I am the first person to raise my hand when something doesn’t smell right.  

Early in my career I remember arguing with a hiring manager who wanted to pay a woman significantly less than our established ranges, simply because her salary requirements were lower. She met the job criteria (education & years of experience) and even exceeded in some key categories but she priced herself to low.  The manager was heavily focused on the bottom line and only looked at the cost savings. After some back and forth we ended up making the offer… a fair offer.  

Even if your organization has no active diversity initiative, doesn’t need to report EEO numbers or your CEO could care less about diversity,  YOU, the HR person can still positively impact people by being a strong advocate every day for equality.

Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Have the Opportunity or the Impact To Do That Every Day.






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