What Is Inclusion?

Inclusion is the acts or practices that ensure individuals feel welcomed in a certain environment—no matter their background. These practices involve behavioral and social norms that provide:

Why Is Inclusion Important?

Inclusion is critical in helping individuals feel a sense of belonging and purpose. It respects people’s unique characteristics, backgrounds, and skills, such as:

In a society where people come from different backgrounds and cultures, inclusion fuels a culture where people feel respected and valued for who they are. This allows them to foster meaningful relationships with those around them and inspires them to do their best work.

Included. Supported. Retained.

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What Is Workplace Inclusion?

An inclusive workplace is an organization where individuals of different backgrounds are hired and, more importantly, receive the support they need to do their best work.

A business that champions inclusion can build a diverse workforce. Not only is this a morally right thing to do, but it also drives a more positive and productive work environment. For example, according to McKinsey & Company:

Building an inclusive and diverse workforce starts in recruitment. Employers should avoid restricting their hiring criteria to one specific gender, race, and/or nationality, as this can limit their ability to discover qualified candidates. Rather, they should focus on a candidate's ability to perform the job regardless of their race, religion, gender, etc.

Diversity vs. Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion have been used so frequently together that they are often thought of as synonymous, but there are differences. While inclusion refers to a cultural and societal feeling of belonging, diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make up a given group.

In order for diversity efforts to succeed, inclusion is needed. In other words, diversity is the wide array of traits, characteristics, and identities in your organization, while inclusion aims to get this diverse group to work well together.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Employers should prioritize diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This may involve:

Inclusion in the Workplace Examples

Here are three companies that have set examples of inclusion and diversity in the workplace to help fuel your team with more ideas: