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Inclusive leadership goes beyond simply having a diverse workforce. It is about creating a culture where “everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique talents and perspectives.” This approach not only fosters a positive work environment but also unlocks significant benefits for the organization as a whole.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft says it beautifully – “The most critical attribute for a leader in today’s world is the ability to bring diverse perspectives together.” We live in a complex and interconnected world, where people of different backgrounds and different opinions need to coexist. And that holds true for an organization as well.

Individual Potential needs to be unlocked

Studies have shown that inclusive leadership leads to increased employee engagement, satisfaction, and productivity. When individuals feel valued and heard, they are more likely to be motivated, invested, and willing to go the extra mile.

  • McKinsey & Companyreports that companies with diverse leadership teams are 21% more likely to outperform their peers on profitability.
  • A Deloitte studyfound that employees who feel included are 6 times more likely to be engaged at work.

World Economic Forum report

Innovation and Creativity can be boosted

Diversity of thought is considered the cornerstone of innovation. By fostering an inclusive environment where different perspectives are welcomed and valued, organizations can tap into a richer pool of ideas and solutions. This leads to more creative problem-solving, improved decision-making, and ultimately, enhanced innovation.

  • A study by Forbes Insights revealed that companies with inclusive cultures are 2.6 times more likely to report exceeding their innovation goals.
  • Research by Cloverpop suggests that teams with greater diversity of thought are more likely to come up with novel solutions.

Impact on Employer Branding and Talent Acquisition:

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is crucial. Organizations with a reputation for inclusive leadership are seen as more attractive workplaces by diverse candidates. This not only strengthens employer brand but also widens the talent pool, leading to a more skilled and diverse workforce.

  • Glassdoor reports that 67% of job seekers consider company culture when making employment decisions.
  • A study by Adecco Group found that 78% of workers are more likely to stay with a company that promotes diversity and inclusion.

Building a Strong and Resilient Organization

Inclusive leadership fosters trust, collaboration, and psychological safety within teams. This creates a more resilient and adaptable organization that can better navigate challenges and thrive in a constantly changing environment.

  • Research by the Center for Creative Leadership suggests that inclusive teams are better at managing conflict and resolving complex problems.
  • A report by BCG highlights that companies with diverse leadership teams are more likely to outperform during economic downturns.

Real-World Examples of Inclusive Leadership:

Several organizations have successfully implemented inclusive leadership practices, leading to demonstrably positive outcomes. Here are a few examples:

  • Accenture:The Tech giant has established a “Diversity & Inclusion Council” led by the CEO, Julie Sweets, to drive inclusion initiatives across the organization. This has resulted in a significant increase in employee engagement and a more diverse workforce.
  • Salesforce:It launched its “Equality Trailblazer” program, which provides mentorship and career development opportunities for women and underrepresented groups. This program has contributed to increased female representation in leadership positions.
  • Unilever:The company implemented an unconscious bias training program for all employees. This resulted in a more inclusive work environment and improved employee relations.

My Personal Journey with Inclusive Leadership:

I have been lucky enough to have received mentorship and sponsorship from leadership team at GS Lab | GAVS. I have always felt empowered to share my ideas and perspectives in meetings and decision-making processes. This experience has not only fueled my own growth and development but also inspired me to become a champion for inclusive leadership within my team and the organization as a whole. I want to work with our employee experience team to :

  • Promote awareness and understanding:
  • Help create a culture of open communication
  • Help empower diverse voices
  • Champion equal opportunities and equity in the organization
  • Hold myself and others accountable

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us remember the critical role women leaders play in fostering inclusive workplaces. By embracing inclusive leadership practices, we can create environments where everyone feels valued, empowered, and able to contribute their best. This not only benefits individuals but also leads to stronger, more innovative, and ultimately, more successful organizations.

Moving forward, let’s continue to:

  • Advocate for inclusive leadership practices.
  • Challenge biases and promote awareness.
  • Empower diverse voices and perspectives.
  • Build workplaces that are truly inclusive for all.

Together, we can “Inspire Inclusion” and create a future where everyone thrives.



    Rajalakshmi, CEO’s Office at GS Lab

Rajalakshmi is part of the CEO’s Office at GS Lab | GAVS. When she is not working, she is fond of making herself aware of what is happening in the world and loves to understand why people behave the way they do. The means to these ends include reading, running, travelling and starting conversations with different types of people!