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As James Manyika, Senior Partner at McKinsey, astutely observed, “The most determinant factor of a company’s performance is the ability of its diverse workforce to have inclusive interactions.” Today, a conscious push from corporations to both diversify their workforce and maintain an inclusive environment is gaining heightened importance.

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Flevy Management Insights: Diversity & Inclusion


As James Manyika, Senior Partner at McKinsey, astutely observed, “The most determinant factor of a company’s performance is the ability of its diverse workforce to have inclusive interactions.” Today, a conscious push from corporations to both diversify their workforce and maintain an inclusive environment is gaining heightened importance.

The Impact of Diversity & Inclusion

Diverse and inclusive companies are 35% more likely to generate above-average financial returns—this statistic, reported by McKinsey in its 2021 report, underscores that the inclusion of a variety of perspectives enriches not only the fabric of company culture but also its bottom line. Embracing Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is no longer a choice but a strategic imperative for companies that aspire high.

Best Practices for Diverse and Inclusive Leadership

An unequivocal commitment to D&I should emanate from the very top. Effective D&I leadership is exhibited by executives who:

  1. Promote D&I within the organization as a core value.
  2. Model inclusive behaviors themselves, thus setting an example for others to emulate.
  3. Hold each member of the management team accountable for D&I progress within their departments.
  4. Ensure that D&I metrics are incorporated into their Performance Management system.

Creating an Inclusive Corporate Culture

In inclusive workplaces, everyone feels valued and respected. Each personal background, experience, and perspective is acknowledged and appreciated. The process of creating an inclusive culture begins with cultivating a mindset of acceptance in every team. Here are some steps companies can take:

Role of Talent Acquisition in D&I Strategy

Talent Acquisition plays a crucial role in the execution of a company’s D&I strategy. Sourcing and hiring practices should be free of systemic biases—unconscious or otherwise. Standardizing interview questions, insisting on diverse recruitment panels, and using software solutions to eliminate bias from job descriptions can demonstrably help increase diversity in the talent pipeline.

Training and Development for Inclusion

Continuous training is pivotal to ensure acceptance of diversity at all organizational levels. Those organizations that invest in regular D&I training sessions help their employees recognize their unconscious bias, while also educating them about the benefits of a diversified workforce. The training sessions should be specifically tailored to the unique requirements of different corporate levels.

Continuous Measurement and Improvement

It is crucial to continually monitor and measure D&I initiatives through quantifiable metrics. These could include representation ratios at different levels, gender pay gap, retention rates of minority groups, and employee survey results. These measurements provide a useful twin indicator of the success of current efforts and the areas that demand further attention.

Management must remember that the journey towards a diverse and inclusive organization is an ongoing one. There are no shortcuts—only a constant evolution to better practices nurtured by unwavering commitment. The route may not always be easy, but as Advocacy for Change would argue, it is one worth taking.

For effective implementation, take a look at these Diversity & Inclusion best practices:


Explore related management topics: Corporate Culture Change Management Performance Management HR Strategy Hiring Employee Training Employee Management Employee Retention Onboarding Compensation Diversity




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