Leadership Lens: D&I is about good Leadership

In today’s rapidly evolving corporate landscape, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) have transcended beyond being mere buzzwords or ‘nice-to-haves.’ They are now fundamental pillars that drive organizational success.

What is Diversity & Inclusion?

Diversity Council Australia describes ‘diversity’ as the mix of people in an organisation, and how they may differ from one another. ‘Inclusion’, at its core, is about ensuring that all individuals feel valued and integrated into a workplace, regardless of their background or identity. It’s about creating an environment where diverse voices are not only heard but are integral to decision-making processes.

Alas:  Diversity only works when Inclusion is manifested in the organisation.

The benefits of D&I are manifold. Organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion tend to have better financial returns, are more innovative, and have higher employee engagement and retention rates. They are better equipped to attract top talent and reflect the global markets they serve. In essence, D&I is not just a moral imperative; it’s a business one.

The journey towards a truly diverse and inclusive workplace is intrinsically linked to good leadership. It’s about developing leaders and teams who not only understand the value of diversity but actively foster an inclusive culture. This development involves cultivating core skills such as empathy, active listening, cultural intelligence, open-mindedness and asking open ended questions. Leaders must be equipped to challenge biases, both within themselves and their teams, and to lead by example in creating an environment where every employee feels respected and valued.

According to the Diversity Council Australia, people need to feel respected, connected or have a feeling of belonging, be able to contribute and progress in their career in order to feel included.

How can you develop inclusion?

A compelling example of this in action is seen in the case of Salesforce. Salesforce has been a trailblazer in implementing D&I initiatives.

Their approach has been holistic, focusing on both policy and culture. They conducted extensive audits to address pay disparities and launched various programs to promote equality. This commitment extends to their leadership development programs, which emphasize inclusive leadership.

By equipping their leaders with the skills to foster an inclusive environment, Salesforce has not only improved its internal culture but has also set a benchmark in the industry for what effective D&I leadership looks like.

How can we help?

At Intact Teams, our focus is on nurturing leaders who can create workplace cultures that epitomize inclusivity. We believe that an inclusive workplace is where people feel respected, connected, and valued for their unique contributions.

Our leadership training programs are designed to instil the skills necessary for leaders to cultivate such environments. We emphasize the importance of understanding and valuing diverse perspectives, encouraging open dialogue, and creating opportunities for all employees to grow and succeed.

By developing leaders who are champions of diversity and inclusion, we aim to create workplaces where everyone can thrive. This approach not only benefits the individuals within these organizations but also drives the overall success and sustainability of the businesses we work with.

Jessica Schubert

Jessica Schubert is a Leadership Expert, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Author and Speaker. She is obsessed with helping people realise their potential and unlock their inner genius.

Born in Cologne, Germany, Jessica has travelled the world and has spent more than 20 years leading cross-cultural teams in competitive markets throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific. As she worked with and coached her own diverse, cross-cultural teams, she came to realise that learning about yourself and developing interpersonal skills is the most powerful tool to lead and influence people around you.

In 2013 she launched Intact Teams, where she and her team have worked with thousands of leaders in organisations worldwide, delivering custom-designed leadership programs and workshops. These interactive and engaging programs are offered both virtually and in-person, helping leaders and their teams succeed in a complex and ever-changing business environment.

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Jessica Schubert