The Best Books on Diversity and Wellbeing
After the success of our best books on diversity and inclusion list last year, we’ve brought together some of our consultants for a 2018 update. And with health and wellbeing increasingly seen as part of what makes an inclusive culture at work, this time we’ve added a slice of workplace wellbeing into the mix.
These aren’t management tomes or theory textbooks. Each book on the list would make a great holiday read. But we’ve also chosen them for their unique perspectives on what you can do to become a better leader, colleague and team-player.
Stick these on your bookshelf or in your suitcase, and learn some useful guidance on:
- How to cultivate a healthier, higher-performing culture at work
- How to sleep better during the working week
- How to build a more positive work environment for your teams
Read on, pick your favourite, and let us know your recommendations over on Twitter.
Gill Hirst’s pick: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
This is a real tour-de-force, and worth all the critical acclaim it received when it came out last year. Reni Eddo-Lodge pulls no punches in her analysis of structural racism and white privilege.
Part potted history of racial inequality, part modern-day reinvigoration of the urgency of the civil rights movement, the book has opened up new conversations around race in all areas of life and work.
The result is a must-read rallying cry against the ‘suffocating blanket of power that envelops everything we know, like a snowy day.’ The writing is direct, and the effect acute.
Gill says: “Reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race required an exercise in humility. It’s written in an astonishingly accessible manner and illustrates the many ways in which privilege is invisible to the privileged but all too obvious to any objective observer. Thankfully, it also inspires hope that we can do better.”
“Hearteningly, Reni Eddo-Lodge concludes: ‘We cannot escape the legacies of the past, but we can use them to model our future’ and, marvellously from my point of view, quotes the late Terry Pratchett: ‘there’s no justice. Just us.’”
“Bringing together careful analysis and the immediacy of personal experiences, the book helps make sense of what is happening internationally at the moment and re-asserts the need for good people to avoid doing nothing.”
– Gill Hirst, EW Group Inclusive Recruitment and Criminal Justice Specialist
Rachael Wilson’s pick: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker is staging a public intervention: proclaiming that we’re in the midst of a ‘catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic’. And it’s costing the UK economy over £30bn a year.
From disease to concentration to depression, sleep impacts everything we do. But it’s not all bad news. Matthew Walker is on hand to dive into ‘The New Science of Sleep and Dreams’ and offer insightful life hacks to remedy what ails you and harness the power of sleep to your advantage. Expect a healthier work-life balance and greater productivity as a result.
Rachael says: “I’ve always had a strong awareness of the power of sleep, but this book collects all of the evidence – mental and physical – and explains in detail how fundamental sleep is to us. It explains how our sleep patterns have evolved alongside evolution. It explains the different types of sleep and how we sleep differently as we age, from our time in the womb to later life.”
“An incredibly illuminating book which will also give you some awesome facts to whip out at social events!”
– Rachael Wilson, EW Group Managing Director
Caroline Arnold’s pick: Flourish by Martin Seligman
Hailed as the inventor of positive psychology, Martin Seligman’s latest book offers up ‘A New Understanding of Happiness and Wellbeing’, along with creative ways to achieve them.
Martin Seligman teaches us how to cultivate and maintain the pillars of wellbeing, and become better members of society and the workplace in the process.
Caroline says: “I have just read this book, my 50th book of 2018, and loved it. I honestly can’t stop recommending it! Throughout the book, Martin Seligman shares stories about how different companies – from boarding schools in Australia to the US Army – are putting his techniques into practice so that everyone can flourish.”
“Martin Seligman’s whole ethos is around the positive psychology movement rather than our tendency to focus on the negatives. He suggests a couple of exercises that you can start to do at home – simple exercises but ones which are proven to help.”
“Martin Seligman is also the author of Authentic Happiness, Learned Optimism, and What You Can Change and What You Can’t, all of which are now on my Amazon wish-list!”
– Caroline Arnold, Diversity Specialist and Executive Coach