July 10, 2023

In today’s rapidly changing world, marked by economic volatility and political uncertainties, inclusive leadership has emerged as a crucial factor in steering organizations towards success. Inclusive leadership goes beyond diversity and acknowledges the value of different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds—it creates an environment where all voices are heard, respected, and included in decision-making processes.  

But with so much information out there, how can you be sure your organization is taking concrete steps to nurture a sense of inclusion from the top down? To make things easier for you, we’ve sifted through the latest content from some top DEI influencers who honed in on the importance of inclusive leadership and what that means for your organization. Here’s what they have to say. 

Embracing diverse perspectives 

In times of uncertainty, leaders face complex challenges that require innovative solutions. Inclusive leadership embraces diverse perspectives, enabling leaders to tap into a wider range of ideas, insights, and experiences.  

Arezoo Riahi | Waymo’s Head of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity 

In a recent episode of his podcast, Untapped, Tariq Meyers sits down with Arezoo Riahi, Waymo’s Head of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity to talk about the future of work and DEI initiatives. Arezoo discusses the importance of having a healthy culture in order to meet the mission of the organization and how DEI is a part of that. 

Why we like it? By bringing together individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and expertise, leaders can access a wealth of knowledge that can spark creativity, generate fresh approaches, and uncover new opportunities. Inclusive leadership fosters an environment where diverse voices are valued and encourages open dialogue that leads to more robust decision-making processes. Listen to the full 35 minute episode. 

Building trust and resilience 

Economic and political uncertainties often create anxiety and apprehension among employees. Inclusive leadership plays a crucial role in building trust and fostering resilience within the organization. When leaders demonstrate inclusivity by actively engaging and involving employees in decision-making, it generates a sense of ownership, belonging, and psychological safety.  

June Sarpong | TV Broadcaster, Corporate Executive, NED & Author of Diversify 

In her recent Ted Talk, “We need leaders who boldly champion inclusion,” June presents examples of successful, creative DEI efforts and calls for leaders at the top to make the first move. “When it comes to diversity and inclusion, we need bold disruptors who are uncomfortable with the status quo, even if the status quo benefits them,” Sarpong says. 

Why we like it? Inclusive leaders communicate transparently, providing clarity and reassurance amidst uncertainty. This trust and resilience allows employees to adapt to changing circumstances, maintain focus, and collectively navigate through challenging times. Watch the full 15 minute talk. 

Enhancing employee engagement while avoiding burnout 

During times of economic and political uncertainty, maintaining employee engagement becomes paramount—but there’s a fine line between keeping your employees feeling purposely involved versus overworked. How can you be sure you’re not confusing the two? Better yet, how can you spot signs of burnout before it’s too late? 

Dawn Klinghoffer | Head of People Analytics at Microsoft 

In her recent article published by Harvard Business Review, Dawn and her co-author Katie Kirkpatrick-Husk, unveil how the challenges of the pandemic combined with experiencing three hallmarks of burnout: exhaustion, cynicism, and a perceived lack of professional accomplishment have led to employee burnout—plus, five strategies for combating it. 

Why we like it? When employees see their perspectives considered and their contributions recognized, they become more engaged and committed to the organization’s goals. Inclusive leaders foster a culture of collaboration, nurturing strong relationships and promoting teamwork. This heightened employee engagement can lead to increased productivity, innovation, and a greater sense of loyalty, even in the face of uncertainty. Read the full article. 

Mitigating bias and addressing inequities 

Inclusive leadership plays a pivotal role in mitigating bias and addressing inequities within organizations. Economic and political uncertainties can exacerbate existing disparities and biases.  

Jeffrey Fermin | Entrepreneur and Author 

In his recent article from AllVoicesReducing unconscious bias in workplaces, Jeffrey discusses why reducing unconscious bias requires a multifaceted approach that involves education, inclusive hiring practices, bias-interrupting techniques, anonymous evaluation, inclusive policies, and continuous evaluation.  

Why we like it? By proactively addressing unconscious bias, workplaces can create a more equitable environment for all employees. Inclusive leaders actively challenge bias by promoting fairness, equality, and meritocracy. They create systems and processes that support diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that opportunities for growth and advancement are accessible to all. Read the full piece. 

Nurture a culture of curiosity and learning

Tim Ryan | US Chair and Senior Partner at PwC

In his recent Harvard Business Review article titled “How the Best Leadership Teams Navigate Uncertain Times” Tim delves into the strategies employed by these high-performing teams to thrive amidst ambiguity and complexity. Read the full piece.

Why we like it? The article notes that leading through uncertainty requires a combination of sensemaking, decision-making, and resilience. The most successful leadership teams embrace these dimensions, nurture a culture of curiosity and learning, and leverage the collective intelligence of their members. By doing so, they position their organizations to not only survive but thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.

Traliant Resources 

For more information on Traliant’s DEI training click here



Veronica Bocian