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What are you doing to foster inclusion at work?

People sitting in chairs

Many companies are struggling to make “a better workplace for everyone” a reality. The great opportunity is that we all have an important part to play in creating a better workplace for everyone.

Ensuring our colleague’s voices are heard and valued not only helps to attract and retain the best people, but also helps us deliver better solutions and identify risks and opportunities we might not otherwise see.

What part can each of us play in a building more diverse, inclusive workplace? Take a moment to consider the following questions:

Who do I spend most time with?

If you think about an average workday or week, whom are you spending most of your time with? Human nature is such that we feel most comfortable with people who are like us and have similar backgrounds. Are you spending your time with people who make you feel comfortable or with people who challenge your thinking?

Who do I go to for advice?

Who are the three of four people you go to for advice and support on business issues? Are they from similar backgrounds or do they have different perspectives to you? What are the risks of gaining advice from similar sources time after time?

Who is in my wider decision-making team?

Is there diverse experience and thinking across your team or do you all think in a similar way? Are you missing opportunities for yourself and your customers by accessing narrow thinking? How could diverse views and input influence your final decisions?

By narrowing our view points and limiting the types of people we spend time with, ask advice of and make decisions with, we are, by default, creating cultures that seem exclusive to others.

Creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces isn’t an end in itself. It’s a means to enabling companies to attract and retain the best talent, benefit from increased productivity and tap into new markets and opportunities.

How are you going to diversify the people you spend time with and what part are you going to play in building a better workplace for all?

Charlotte Sweeney is co-author of Inclusive Leadership: The Definitive Guide to Developing and Executing an Impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Locally and Globally.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.