One of our key insights from 2021 was the need for employers to create a culture of belonging – something which has significant implications for the future of I&D.
To get a better understanding of this topic we brought together 152 people from a broad selection of organisations for a 48-hour Inclusion and Diversity Collaboration Jam, to help us define a to-do list for leaders:
Break down hybrid – One thing we learned about hybrid working in 2021 is that it can easily create a dual culture of “Roomers” and “Zoomers”. Leadership teams must work to call out and eradicate any emerging divisions by ensuring that those who prefer to work from the office don’t receive preferential progression and that key moments – such as Town Halls – are hybrid inclusive.
Find your next frontier – Rather than using recent strides in I&D as an excuse to focus energies elsewhere, leaders should be eager to achieve even more – for example educating ourselves about the social realities impacting different groups and breaking down inclusion barriers around age and class. Focus on narratives that communicate how far the insights and expertise built through past activities have brought us – and how they can help us continue to improve.
Embrace intersectionality – I&D programmes in the past have often focused on one characteristic – gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability – but this way of contextualising people’s experiences has rapidly fallen out of date. Leaders need to approach inclusion with sophistication and nuance – taking time to educate themselves on the multiple intersections that make up each employee’s experience.
Ultimately, inclusion is a question of belonging – and what it takes to make someone feel they belong can be both highly personal – and ever-changing. Now is the time for organisations – and their leaders – to broaden their inclusion agendas beyond a menu of diversity characteristics to embrace new communities as they emerge.
Interested in learning more? Our Global Inclusion and Diversity Trends Report is packed with insights and can be found here.