Empowering Diversity: Why Leaders Need to Own “Inclusion”

By Amy Hayes and Jamie Hechinger of Russell Reynolds Associates Consultants

Many companies understand "diversity" but struggle to grasp "inclusion" in concrete terms. Corporate talent strategies tend to overemphasize the pipeline as being the barrier and underestimate how culture can catalyze (or deter) the recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce. Furthermore, inclusive cultures are not just actualized by corporate policy, but also by open, empathetic, empowering leaders who enable a sense of "belonging" among groups and individuals, thereby creating opportunities for all employees to realize their unique contribution.

Diversity is a seat at the table. Inclusion is an invitation to have a voice at that table.

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