How Inclusive Leaders Advance Racial Equity

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Achieving Racial Equity In The Workplace

To create the real, systemic change needed to achieve racial equality in the workplace, leaders must actively remove the barriers to equality and equity in their organizations in simple, visible ways. Inclusive leaders, especially at the mid and senior levels, have the power and responsibility to do this and yet my Inclusive Leaders Group team and I are often asked the question:

“What practical actions can I take to make a difference?”

To address this, we’ve developed an action-oriented, inclusive leadership development experience for frontline, mid-level, and senior leaders. The Developing Inclusive Leaders program is available in multiple formats and durations based on an organization’s desired leadership development outcomes.

Developing Inclusive Leaders is based on applied research from Deloitte that identified the six signature traits of an inclusive leader, “the 6Cs Model”.   The research mined experiences with more than 1,000 global leaders, deep-diving into the views of 15 global leaders and subject matter experts, and surveying over 1,500 employees on their perceptions of inclusion.

How Inclusive Leaders Advance Racial Equity

Below, we discuss 15 practical actions that Inclusive Leaders can take to advance racial equity.

  1. Share your networks with colleagues who belong to racially and ethnically minoritized groups, and make introductions to key gatekeepers who can enable career progression.
  2. Run inclusive meetings, including people from diverse backgrounds in your regular activities.
  3. Sponsor, mentor, and coach individuals who are different from you; broaden your inner circle.
  4. Celebrate difference; join, support, champion, and sponsor at least one employee resource group (ERG), talk about, and understand others’ lived experiences.
  5. Be a visible champion for change, identify yourself as one, put this in your email signature and profile name; be DEI fluent.
  6. Be a proactive ally, spot and call out microaggressions and expand your zone of micro-affirmations
  7. Promote a learning culture that values openness, creativity, and exploration, with psychological safety.
  8. Have conversations to express the benefits of diversity, and publicly reject color blindness and the myth of meritocracy.
  9. Establish DEI protocols that actively disrupt bias, and develop inclusive guidelines such as a glossary of terms, recruitment toolkit, and performance appraisal guides.
  10. Review talent processes – attraction, recruitment, retention, progression, and pay equity to ensure shadow processes are not undermining aspirations for meritocracy
  11. Review language and images in all communications to eliminate stereotyping and coded language that sends messages of exclusion
  12. Expose and change the shadow processes in the work environment, and identify and remove the unwritten rules that discriminate silently.
  13. Practice Inclusive leadership, encourage other leaders and people managers to do the same, and critically evaluate promotion processes and succession plans.
  14. Set targets and metrics, monitor, and intentionally diversify leadership ranks.
  15. Establish a learning and development plan that targets the entire ecosystem including individual contributors, minority talent, HR business partners and managers, frontline managers, mid-level leaders, and senior executives.

The best way to learn more about inclusive leadership development and understanding race, privilege, and identity in your work and workplace, is to schedule a  30-minute consult with me so we may discuss your DEI strategy and training or coaching needs.


Download the FREE E-book: The CHRO’s Guide to Advancing Workplace DEIBA Human Resource Leader’s Guide to Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging in the Workplace. DOWNLOAD HERE

As CEO and Principal Consultant of Inclusive Leaders Group, LLC, Charlotte Hughes MS, CDP, SHRBP, CPLP brings a diverse background as an accomplished Talent and Organizational Development and Diversity & Inclusion global thought leader and practitioner for several major Fortune 100 companies and one of the largest health systems in the U.S.  Charlotte delivers more than 60 speeches and facilitates roughly the same number of training workshops each year.

Inclusive Leaders Group, LLC: A Strategic Consulting Firm Specializing in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) as a Business Strategy.  A Certified Woman-Owned & Minority-Owned Business.

Don’t go it alone with your DEI strategy. Go with the experts.  VISIT US

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