3 Core Indicators of Inclusion

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10885683296?profile=RESIZE_710xWhen Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is viewed in a cursory manner, at the overall organizational level, it may seem that organizations have abundance of Diversity representation.  However, a closer look reveals Inclusion problems.

For example, there are several firms with female employees, but none or very few of them hold managerial positions.  In many other instances, firms will have a significant number of workers of color, yet they may all work in the same department.

It might be claimed that these organizations have Diversity but lack Inclusion.  Many businesses that have made significant efforts in the direction of Diversity continue to fall short when it comes to Inclusion.

Diversity refers to the representation of races, ethnicities, and other minority groups in an organization, or its composition.  Inclusion, on the other hand, refers to the degree to which the contributions, presence, and perspectives of distinct groups of individuals are valued and their level of integration into an environment.  Inherently, Inclusion is difficult to assess.

The rationality of concentrating on both Inclusion and Diversity is gaining more attention.

Despite this emphasis, the comprehensive dynamics and comparative relevance of the many aspects of Inclusion are not yet well understood.

Diverse settings may include several nationalities, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and identities; yet, Inclusion requires the perspectives and input of all groups.

According to surveys and research, the experience of Inclusion in the workplace is of enormous importance to employees.  However, employees' experiences may not always align with their company's or their managers' apparent commitments to Inclusion.

Inclusion and workplace culture are inherently difficult to quantify, posing a significant challenge for top executives.

McKinsey analyzed employee reviews (made through 2017–2019) of the companies for which they worked.  They conducted extensive study on the following 3 Core Indicators of Inclusion:

  1. Equality
  2. Equality Openness
  3. Belonging


McKinsey analyzed the sentiment—positive, negative, and neutral—of employee comments towards D&I, focusing on 10–30 companies in 3 categories, namely Financial services, Technology, and Healthcare.

Keywords linked with 2 indicators related to a systematic approach to D&I were used to investigate D&I-related literature reviews.  Diverse representation and Leadership accountability for D&I were the indicators.

Consequently, research was conducted on 3 Core Indicators of Inclusion: Equality, Openness, and Belonging.

Let's delve a little more into the specifics of the 3 Core Indicators.


Employees demand fairness and candor in recruiting, compensation, and advancement.  In addition, they desire impartial access to sponsorship possibilities, retention assistance, and other resources.

Companies across the 3 analyzed industries do poorly on this criterion, with Equality performing the worst of all aspects tested.

Unfavorable attitudes on Equality were exhibited in 63% to 80% of all industries.


Openness is an organizational culture that promotes employees to view one another with mutual respect and where bias, intimidation, discernment, and micro-aggressions are deliberately addressed.

According to employee feedback, the Openness of the workplace was also a key worry.

Respect and Trust were cited as 2 of the most important elements of the work environment in the majority of positive responses.  There was a tendency for negative opinions to cluster around Bullying and Micro-aggression.


Firms that demonstrate persistent support for the overall comfort and contributions of diverse workers can foster a sense of Belonging.

There were 110 total references to Belonging, of which 32% were negative.  Bulk of the 68% of responses that were either neutral or favorable, leaned towards positive.

Interested in learning more about Core Indicators of Inclusion?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Core Indicators of Inclusion here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people.  Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one? Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization's Strategy.  In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.

This has never been truer than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies.  Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

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