Diversity or Inclusion?
By: Tony Wright
Too often, leaders assume that singularly focusing on diversity can solve or improve all their organizational woes.
Diversity often focuses on the differences, and is referred to as “the mix.” Inclusion is the deliberate act of welcoming diversity and creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.
Diversity is what you have.
Inclusion is what you do!
Audiences that represent a single demographic can struggle with inclusivity. It is also very much possible for minority leaders to shun others within their own racial demographic. In my 25+ year career, I’ve personally seen this unfold. And yes, it is very disturbing.
Diverse teams don’t have to be inclusive. In fact, many diverse teams lack collaboration.
Being inclusive is an intentional act. Leaders that lead through inclusion are generally more thoughtful and work harder to eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Inclusivity promotes equal treatment and opportunity.
I would also venture to suggest that equal treatment and opportunity strengthens the workforce and reduces employee turnover.
Being in the mix is not good enough. Certainly, it’s a start – but, it’s time for leaders to dig a bit deeper to truly respect our differences. We all benefit in the long run.