3 Core Indicators of Inclusion

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When Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is examined superficially at the level of the entire company, it may appear that there is an abundance of Diversity representation. However, careful inspection finds inclusion issues.

Several companies, for instance, have female employees, but none or very few of them hold managerial roles. In many other cases, companies will employ a considerable number of people of color, yet they may all be assigned to the same department.

One may argue that these companies possess Diversity but lack Inclusion. Numerous organizations that have made substantial efforts toward Diversity continue to fall short in terms of Inclusion.

Diversity refers to the representation of races, ethnicities, and other minority groups inside an organization. Inclusion, on the other hand, refers to the extent to which the contributions, presence, and viewpoints of various groups of persons are recognized, as well as their level of integration into an environment. Inherently, Inclusion is hard to evaluate.

The value of focusing on both Inclusion and Diversity is garnering increasing recognition.

Despite this attention, the full dynamics and relative significance of Inclusion’s numerous facets are not yet thoroughly understood.

Inclusion necessitates the opinions and involvement of all groups, regardless of their nations, races, genders, sexual orientations, or identities, which may be present in diverse situations.

According to surveys and studies, the employee experience of Inclusion in the workplace is of utmost significance. However, employees’ experiences may not always correspond with their company’s and managers’ professed dedication to inclusion.

Inclusion and workplace culture are intrinsically difficult to assess, providing a formidable task for chief executives.

McKinsey evaluated employee reviews (made between 2017 and 2019) of their employers. They did significant research on the three Core Indicators of Inclusion listed below:

1. Equality

2. Equality Openness

3. Belonging

McKinsey evaluated the sentiment (positive, negative, and neutral) of employee comments towards D&I, focusing on 10–30 firms in 3 industries: Financial services, Technology, and Healthcare.

Utilizing keywords associated with two indications connected to a systematic approach to D&I, D&I-related literature reviews were analyzed. The metrics were diverse representation and leadership responsibility for D&I.

As a result, studies were done on the 3 Core Indicators of Inclusion: Equality, Openness, and Belonging.

Let’s go deeper into the particulars of the 3 Core Indicators.


Employees require fairness and openness in hiring, salary, and promotion. In addition, they require impartial access to sponsorship opportunities, aid with retention, and other resources.

Companies in all 3 industries evaluated do poorly on this criterion, with Equality performing the poorest of all assessed features.

63% to 80% of all industries had unfavorable sentiments towards equality.


Openness is a corporate culture that encourages employees to regard each other with mutual respect and in which bias, intimidation, discernment, and micro-aggressions are consciously addressed.

According to employee input, workplace transparency was also a major concern.

In the majority of favorable comments, respect and trust were mentioned as two of the most crucial characteristics of the workplace. Concerning Bullying and Micro-aggression, there was a tendency for unfavorable opinions to cluster.


A feeling of Belonging may be fostered by businesses that exhibit steadfast support for the overall comfort and contributions of diverse employees.

There were a total of 110 mentions of Belonging, of which 32 percent were negative. The majority of the 68% of responses that were either neutral or positive favored the positive.

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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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I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management. https://flevy.com

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Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management. https://flevy.com