In 2019, the Diversity and Inclusion practice continued to make strides as the world’s largest industries continue to realize the significant impacts Diversity and Inclusion has on business. Industries across the board are increasingly vulnerable to ‘disruptions’ making the need for innovation (proactive disruption) that much more essential to success. In 2019, companies became acutely aware that they could not afford to squander or lose the brainpower they accumulate in their workforce. In 2020, it will be increasingly important for companies to ensure that their cultures are inclusive if they intend to attract, retain, develop and empower their talent to innovate ahead of disruption, rather than be reactive to it.

Many expect Diversity and Inclusion initiatives to continue to spearhead further progress in areas of leadership development and workplace equality alike. Here are some interesting Diversity and Inclusion trends to note in 2020.

Leadership Development is the Key to Culture Transformation.

Organizations need to develop inclusive leaders to catalyze and sustain an inclusive culture at scale. Even the most well-intentioned organizations find it difficult to focus and execute inclusive leadership development efforts that nurture the desired culture transformation over time. Finding new ways to tap into leadership development techniques that will catalyze behavior and culture change is one of the next big hurdles facing organizations today.

Lead Inclusively Inclusive Leadership Development Plan.

Inclusion Dictates Workplace Happiness, Which Impacts Innovation.

We learned that Diversity and Inclusion’s effectiveness is tied to its impact on happiness at work. There is ample research that demonstrates how a sense of inclusion and belonging is a primary dictator of individuals’ happiness at work, which is essential to performance and innovation. Simply put, inclusive workplaces are happier, and happiness goes hand-in-hand with innovative ideas and execution.

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Companies are Increasingly Investing in ‘Inclusion Technology’.

Inclusion technologies have presented new opportunities for companies to overcome the issues of scaling in their culture transformation efforts. The rise of eLearning and behavior-change technology like the ‘Inclusion Virtual Coach App’ are two products that major technology companies, like Microsoft have invested in.

Inclusion Has Different Forms, but Equal Impact Across a Variety of Industries.

From High-Tech, to Transportation, to Academia, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Global Development, and Military, inclusion continues to impact changes in culture that are vital to industry success. Thought-leaders across these industries and more are increasingly understanding the need for inclusion and becoming advocates for change.

We Must Have the Necessary Conversations if We are Going to See the Necessary Changes.

Like culture itself, the nature of the practice of Diversity and Inclusion is complex and constantly evolving. Fostering the necessary conversations, and asking the difficult questions to work environment, is how we will continue to evolve our understanding of an inclusive workplace culture. They are also vital to bridging the gaps that naturally exist between corporate leadership, their workforces, and future talent. It is important to connect with different people in the D&I space and beyond to share conversations that inform and connect people as we all work to collectively build better workplaces for everyone in the future.

There Has Been Exciting and Vital Progress Made in Demonstrating the Business ROI of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Demonstrating the monetary ROI of Diversity and Inclusion in business continues to be one of the most vital hurdles the industry is working to overcome. Being able to attach dollars and cents to inclusion strategies will continue to fuel much-needed buy-in to the field by organizations while also quieting the ‘devil’s advocates’ who continue to equate inclusion to a PR/affirmative action stunt. Luckily, there is research now that allows us to build a clear and compelling case for the impact of inclusion on workplace productivity and innovation. In fact, a failure to embrace inclusion can even prove catastrophic to certain companies and industries in the near future.

The Future of Workplace Diversity and Inclusion is Bright, but There is Plenty of Work Ahead.

For many reasons, including those previously mentioned, there have been significant strides made in the area of Diversity and Inclusion this past year. With that said, we are still seeing a lack of gender and racial representation in senior leadership, substantial complaints regarding workplace misconduct, and widespread attrition of under-represented demographics in large enterprises. An increase in awareness and advocacy will continue to be important if we are to change the culture and narratives that uphold these trends.

By becoming students of inclusion, we will continue to have the conversations that push the needle of progress in the right direction. There are many free resources available in this space to get started. From research to complimentary events and more, the access to Diversity and Inclusion thought-leadership is more accessible than ever.

Thank you to all who took the time to read this article to the very end!  More importantly, thanks to all who find any opportunity to become an influencer of inclusive culture transformation in your workplace and in your world.

About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

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