Diversity and Inclusion is a critical leadership capability that helps drive great business results. Recently there’s been a push for companies to publicly share their numbers. That’s great and yet,, I think we can push the edges even further beyond awareness of D&I to a culture of Belonging. 

  1. If my company cares about Diversity, they’re hiring and retaining the right person regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, or ideologies. That’s a good thing.
  2. If they prioritize Inclusion, there’s a conscious effort made so that every person feels invited and welcomed. Even better. 
  3. And then there are those truly special places that offer a culture of Belonging. You’re not made to feel like a number, and no one goes out of the way to make you feel included (though the positive intention is well appreciated!) Rather, they create such a warm, accepting space that you can settle right in, feeling like you truly belong.

From my own experiences:

Diversity: I remember in my earlier days at P&G, tracking our recruitment, retention and promotion numbers to ensure we kept an eye on diversity. That was admirable, especially in 1999! ⭐️

Inclusion: I remember a group of guys in the early 2000’s heading out to a strip club after work, when one paused at the door and turned to me. “Uh… you wanna come?” Thanks for being inclusive man, but no thanks! 🤭

Belonging: When I worked at IHG, my boss heard we were trying to adopt a differently abled orphan. He not only made space for my hectic family schedule, he even implemented a new policy that financially supported international adoptions. Kenneth, thank you for role modeling what a culture of belonging looks like.💛

I recently saw this great quote: “Diversity is being invited to the Party, Inclusion is being asked to Dance, and Belonging is dancing like no one’s Watching.” Now that’s the kind of place I want to work and the culture I’d like to cultivate!

Where do you think your organization rates?

#diversityandinclusion #diversityintheworkplace #belonging Photo credit: Equality and Diversity UK LTD