Creating an Inclusive Culture (CRF)
By Dr. Wanda Wallace and Gillian Pillans
Today, there is general agreement that it is desirable for organisations to have a diverse workforce that more closely reflects the population and customer base. Organisations have invested heavily in diversity programmes over the last few years.
However, progress has been disappointing, particularly the proportion of senior women in the workforce.We think one of the underlying reasons is that organisations have focused on increasing the numbers of employees from underrepresented groups, rather than tackling the organisation culture that determines whether those people feel included and thrive.
We define an inclusive culture as an organisational environment that allows people with different backgrounds, characteristics, and ways of thinking, to work effectively together and to perform to their highest potential. In an inclusive culture, people feel that their contribution is valued, and their voice is listened to and respected.We contrast diversity – which is often focused on increasing the numerical representation of minorities in the workforce – and inclusion – which is about creating an environment that values the different contributions that a diverse workforce can bring.