The illusion of inclusion

joel lesko
March 12, 2019

Common mistake #1: increasing diversity means you’re increasing inclusion.
Common mistake #2: Diversity & Inclusion are kind of the same thing

This article sets the record straight:
”True inclusion must take into consideration context to determine whether it is successful. For instance, the Harvard Business Review looked at the failed attempts of big corporations to improve inclusion. They could prove they had hired a certain number of employees from particular backgrounds, but they weren’t necessarily allowing those workers to participate fully. In fact, a “filling the seats” diversity focus often led to increased bias and related behaviors among colleagues. Though they looked diverse on paper, they acted quite the opposite.”

From my experience, this is a natural outcome of focusing on content (diversity numbers) and ignoring context (inclusiveness). Some bean counters think that if the ratios look right, then the problem is solved. Wrong. It takes both. I like to say that diversifying is the science and becoming more inclusive is the art.

How do you recruit, hire and then welcome people? Does your organization have a set of values around respect and inclusiveness that everyone knows? Are those values linked to behaviors and are your performance evaluations for reward and advancement aligned with them?

Remember, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the inclusiveness. And studies are showing that the more inclusive a workplace is, the more innovative it is, too. As Steve Robbins says in our program, Inclusion Insights, “Diversity has been about counting people. Inclusion is about making people count.”

More from our blog...

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail" expressed a truth that's important today: Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Read More

Unconscious Bias: Our Filter Bubbles Shape Our Worldview

Just like a Google algorithm that shows us web pages based on our previous clicks, our unconscious biases show us our pre-conceived, pre-loaded assumptions about the people and situations we encounter. Our internal filter bubbles shape our thoughts and behavior in significant ways. And here’s the dangerous thing - most of the time we don’t even consider that we’re being shaped by them.
Read More

Inclusivity and High Performance Begins with Psychological Safety

Learn how the creation of a psychologically safe work environment helps in creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace that emphasizes curiosity and can improve performance.
Read More

Our response to the Executive Order

The Trump Administration has issued a flawed and racist executive order that is not in alignment with SunShower Learning’s core values.
Read More

Creating a Welcoming Workplace by Putting Inclusion into Action

Inclusion in Action eLearning not only brings attention to inclusion as a necessary leadership skill, it teaches skills that everyone in an organization can learn and practice.
Read More

Strategies to Manage Your Own Unconscious Bias When You're Making Decisions

We all have unconscious biases. The question, is what do you want to do about yours? Do you want to take the time and energy to explore where your blind spots are? There are strategies that anyone can use and practice to disrupt biases.
Read More

On Being Consciously Inclusive

Discover how to be consciously inclusive? Leaders can work on their own implicit biases and learn skills for inclusion with our courses like Defeating Unconscious Bias.
Read More

How to Drive Inclusive Culture in the Digital Workplace

Want to be a more inclusive enterprise? Here are the top tips for digital workplaces that want to create a more inclusive company culture.
Read More

Moving Beyond Diversity Toward Racial Equity

Build a more inclusive culture by understanding how power works and how one can use it to understand conflict for creating a workplace with no differences.
Read More