Inclusion is the only scalable way to build diversity within an organization. Without thoughtful and deliberate discussion and action to cultivate an inclusive environment, all the energy and resources spent on recruiting a diverse workforce are for naught. The employees, so painstakingly recruited, will be gone within three months.
Why do I know this? Because I was that person who put all my efforts into hiring for diverse candidates, only to watch them fail or walk out the door in less than a year. I didn’t put enough thought into how my team’s or my organization’s culture needed to shift in order to allow this diverse collection of people to coalesce and flourish. Time, money, and talented people were lost because I didn’t proactively address the deeply nuanced issue of inclusion.
At my current role as COO of Startup Institute, I spend a lot of time thinking about inclusion, defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act of including; the state of being included.” A very simple definition that becomes more complicated upon implementation within organizations because of the different affinity groups that can exist and how to discover, fulfill, and include each affinity groups’ unique needs. It’s important to recognize that an affinity group may constitute merely one individual or multiple individuals. Regardless of size, all groups merit the active efforts of inclusion.
By Peggy Yu
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