Building Inclusion: How Leaders Can Make or Break Diversity
2 November 2015 at 4:24 pm
There is room to improve the inclusive leadership capabilities of Australian managers, according to the Diversity Council of Australia.
A new study by the DCA, entitled Building Inclusion: An Evidence-Based Model of Inclusive Leadership, has found that leaders are critical to the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives but there is a lack of inclusive leadership capabilities amongst Australian managers.
As part of the research the DCA interviewed senior or executive managers from six different companies, with participants rating the current level of inclusive leadership capabilities of senior leaders in their organisation at just 5.8 out of 10.
The Diversity Council said this meant that organisations were missing out on the benefits of inclusive leadership.
Inclusive environments are associated with improved job and/or team performance, as well as higher return on income and productivity.
DCA CEO, Lisa Annese, said inclusive environments were associated with improved job and team performance, as well as a higher return on income and productivity.
The DCA also said teams with inclusive climates have higher levels of innovation and profit as having a flexible rather than fixed view of one’s own and other’s identities was associated with greater creativity and improved innovation.
Annese said there had not been a lot of practical guidance for employers on inclusive leadership before now.
“A diverse workforce needs to be accompanied by an inclusive culture or organisations will never truly harness the benefits,” Annese said.
“Our Building Inclusion research breaks new ground in this area by shedding valuable light on the benefits of inclusive leadership and giving organisations the know how to fully grasp the opportunities.”
Chairman of Optus, which partnered on the research, Paul O’Sullivan, said diversity was simply good business.
“We know we only derive real value from diversity when we make the effort to be inclusive,” O’Sullivan said.
“We need to ensure we involve all of our people to shape our strategy, our organisation, and our values.”