What’s stopping leaders being inclusive?

Posted 22 Oct 2021 by Melissa Summer

5 Challenges of Inclusion Leadership thumbnail

Everyone knows that inclusion is a complex area. There’s no single thing that stops it happening or slows it down. There are several and they’re probably happening at the same time.

We’ve pulled together five of the most important ones.

Check the at-a-glance summary below, download the 5 Challenges to Inclusive Leadership infographic for the full picture.

Everyone has biases

Biases are often unconscious but learning how to recognize them is a key step to an inclusive culture. Common examples include the halo effect, ageism, and the beauty bias.

Diversity of thought needs more attention

Diversity of thought is ‘the invisible diversity characteristic’. It’s what we can’t readily see in people – the way they think, make decisions, prefer to work, and so on. To learn more, find the carrot on the infographic.

Leaders overestimate how inclusive they are

Research shows that leaders aren’t as inclusive as they think they are. They overestimate their inclusion efforts. Bottom line? Beware the self-perception trap.

Organizational structures are barriers

Inclusion starts by understanding how people work. But some institutional structures and practices – the relentless drive for efficiency, for example – can hinder even the best inclusion efforts.

Leaders lack inclusive skills

OK, not all leaders. But probably more than you think. Why? Because inclusive behaviors need to be learned through specialist training. Simply being a leader is no guarantee of having inclusive skills.

There’s more information on all of these points in 5 Challenges to Inclusive Leadership. Don’t forget to download it!

Want to learn more about inclusion and why it matters to people and organizations? Check out this page.


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