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Why inclusion matters—and how to foster it

Five blog posts that can help leaders enhance inclusion to benefit their organization and its people.

Leads McKinsey’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work; directs initiatives focused on establishing inclusive, productive workplace cultures that support greater collaboration and innovation from a diverse workforce

Drew Goldstein

Advises clients across various industries in creating and sustaining high-performing workplaces with particular expertise in culture, organization design, diversity, equity, and inclusion

Vidya Mahadevan

Advises clients across industries on digital and organization topics, with particular expertise in organization design and transformation; change management; and diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have rightfully risen to the top of organizational priorities. Many organizations recognize that focusing on DE&I is simply the right thing to do, but research also finds that prioritizing it is good for business. In fact, DE&I is a strategic imperative to win the battle for talent amid the Great Attrition, better service clients and customers, and stay ahead of fierce competition.

However, all three aspects of DE&I are critical to make meaningful and lasting progress. It’s difficult to move the needle on diversity and representation in a sustainable way without inclusion—the degree to which employees are embraced, supported, and enabled to make meaningful contributions. Even if an organization has a diverse population of employees, it will likely struggle to achieve long-term performance outcomes without an inclusive environment.

These observations led to the development of McKinsey’s inclusion assessment model, which helps organizations measure inclusion and form concrete, actionable insights into where it lacks and thrives. The following blog posts explore the model, its key elements, and how leaders can use resulting data to better achieve the benefits of diversity and equity for the organization and its people.

  • Inclusion doesn’t happen by accident: Measuring inclusion in a way that matters
    By Diana Ellsworth, Drew Goldstein, and Bill Schaninger

    A diverse workforce positively augments company performance at all levels. However, for a diverse workforce to flourish—including attracting, retaining, and growing diverse talent—companies must enhance inclusion. This blog post introduces McKinsey’s inclusion assessment model, which can be used to reveal actionable insights to help organizations drive impactful DE&I changes for employees.

  • How people—not just policies—make or break inclusive workplaces
    By Drew Goldstein, Laura Pineault, Bill Schaninger, and Stephanie Smallets

    Company-wide DE&I policies are vital, but they alone are insufficient to foster high levels of inclusion. This blog post addresses the three key relationships, identified by our research, that shape inclusion for employees: peers/teammates, leaders, and organizational systems.

  • Inclusive workplaces focus on management practices that matter, not fluff
    By Aaron De Smet, Drew Goldstein, and Ruth Imose

    Workplace inclusion has two aspects, according to our research: employees’ perceptions of the organization’s inclusivity and their personal experiences of workplace inclusion. In McKinsey’s inclusion assessment model, employees’ perceptions of organizational inclusion are driven by a number of organizational systems and leader behaviors, each outlined in this blog post.

  • Personal experience of inclusion: Critical to win the war for talent
    By Drew Goldstein, David Mendelsohn, and Julia Sperling-Magro

    This blog post focuses on practices and behaviors from McKinsey’s inclusion assessment model that enhance employees’ personal experiences of inclusion—driven by employees’ daily interactions with peers/teammates and leaders—which often go overlooked.

  • The “how” in creating inclusive workplaces
    By Diana Ellsworth, Drew Goldstein, and Laura London

    What does McKinsey’s inclusion assessment model look like in action? This blog post shares how one leading private equity firm used hard data to develop an actionable roadmap for its ongoing DE&I journey.

For additional resources, please see the “Diversity, equity, and inclusion” section on the McKinsey Organization Blog.

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