I’ve learnt that Inclusive Leadership is a skill – and it needs to be developed just like any other leadership capability. This experience has been a great journey of discovery for me. I realised that we are not going to be the kind of organisation we need to be, unless we have a visibly inclusive culture.
I went into this experience confident about my intentions as a leader. But I realised that to send a clear message about the culture I want to have – one that embraces diversity and ensures everyone can contribute -
I need to demonstrate that inclusion is a priority through what I say and do.
I was already executive sponsor for our Disability Employee Resource Group (ERG) but I wanted to do more. I reached out to meet a leader in our pride group and attended a cultural safety and awareness program run by our Aboriginal ERG. Since then the Aboriginal ERG has asked me to become one of their executive sponsors as well.
Being an executive sponsor to these groups gives me a visible platform through which I can participate in our inclusion initiatives and champion them to my executive team. In doing so, I hope to make my commitment to inclusion more mainstream and less ‘behind the scenes’. By communicating the importance of inclusion I’m shining a light on the kind of culture I want us to have, and I’m calling out my expectations of others to achieve this.
How to be committed
- Speak out when you see non-inclusive behaviour, and affirm inclusive behaviour in others.
- Regularly check-in with your team and colleagues to see what they need to feel included.
- Ensure your actions reflect that equality is a core value to you.
- Create diversity and inclusion goals and stick to them.
- Allocate resources, such as time or energy, to improving inclusion within your workplace.