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Inclusivity: The Choice is Clear

Updated: Jun 26

In the emerging economy, companies face a clear choice. By maintaining the pay and leadership gaps between demographic groups, they accelerate their decline. Instead, they need to get in front of the changes on the horizon and become industry leaders moving their organizations toward a more dynamic future. A generational shift is underway, and as one CEO told his team, “If you have a workforce in 2040, it will be a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

The road to an inclusive workforce, however, is not a one or two-year program. A day of anti-bias training doesn’t counteract mindsets ingrained over a lifetime. Transformational change takes time, competence, commitment, and consistent effort.

Leaders must think deeply about equity issues, center diversity and inclusion goals, and act on strategic solutions. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training must be combined with other systemic changes: mentoring and sponsorship, leadership development, career development, employee resource groups, and a review of recruitment, interviewing, hiring, retention, promotion, and pay processes.

Managers at all levels must take ownership, create transparent metrics and be accountable for meeting them. The overall goal is to cultivate a culture that not only values differences, but one in which people know how to work across differences in race, gender, national origins, cultures, and languages to make relationships innovative and productive. Companies can wield their influence to create innovative solutions.

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