Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid’s article titled “Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion” does a masterful job of explaining what I’ve been feeling lately; that we’ve been expending way too much time on the topic of diversity, and not enough on inclusion. I find all too often that a lot of employers will tell you that they have a handle on this diversity piece, that their numbers are good. Or sadly enough, some employers will tell you that their numbers are low for a certain representation, and ‘Do we have any of those people?’
Not all organizations focus on diversity. Organizations where inclusivity is evident in their recruitment and onboarding, in their literature, and more importantly evident in their workplace recognize the value of inclusivity. These employers don’t have an issue with diversity, because they recognize the value of building an inclusive workplace as an important recruitment strategy, and that people from diverse backgrounds will want to work for them because they are inclusive.
Sherbin and Rashid point out four specific attributes that drive inclusion: inclusive leaders, authenticity, networking, visibility, and clear career paths. The authors summarize the article by commenting that diversity without inclusion is a story of missed opportunities. Perhaps it’s time for those of us who professionally engage with employers to change the topic of conversation; from diversity to inclusion.