10 More Steps to Create Inclusive Workplaces

August 25, 2016In my previous blog I wrote about my favorite intentional actions that a leader, team, or organization could take to focus on inclusion.

I got so many helpful tips, that we felt it would be best to break them up into two posts. So, here are the next 10 (and a bonus) to help you and your company put inclusion into practice.

Be an open-minded leader 

1. Help bust the myth that senior women have it all together by inviting a group of high-potential women home for dinner. Have them commute home with you to observe your real life—kids, pets, dinner, etc.

2. Think about your interactions with your direct reports over the past week. Whom did you offer to connect with a more senior colleague? To whom did you mention a plum opportunity or offer insight on workplace politics? How, if at all, did these interactions vary by gender, race, and/or ethnicity?

3. Make sure to intentionally seek out ideas/insights from people who may not look like you. So, next time you ask someone to take on a project (your go-to folks), stop and ask yourself—whom did you not ask? Why?

4. Ban words like “gravitas” and “rock star.” They have huge bias potential and can have different interpretations.

Understand other people’s varied work habits 

5. If you plan on sending emails to colleagues at off hours (late at night, weekends, etc.) add a line to your signature that lets people know you’re working at that time because it’s most convenient for you. This tells them that you don’t expect them to respond when they otherwise would not be working.

6. Proactively ask about all team members' personal priorities or commitments that are important to honor as the team plans its work stream and deliverables; seek to respect those requests if at all possible.

7. Don’t assume that people who work differently (or even less) are less committed; they may be working smart.

Think differently 

8. Pay attention every time you hesitate to recommend someone for a job or a stretch assignment because you think others won’t support the idea—these people that don’t quite “fit” might be exactly the right people to add needed diverse perspectives.

9. Allow for diversity in terms of the way people process information and react/communicate (introverts and extroverts).

Speak your mind 

10. Challenge assumptions—don’t assume anything. A place of curiosity is the Zen zone.

Open your mind, close your mouth 

11. Ask and then listen; you'll be amazed what you can learn from everyone around you.

Did you put any of these steps or the previous ones into practice? I’d love to hear all about it

The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.