What Does Inclusive Culture Actually Mean?

by Mar 6, 2023

There is so much talk about DEI these days. Diverse talent has become a hot commodity for any company and recruiters are fighting to get as many visibly diverse (aka BIPOC) candidates on their roaster as possible. Companies are demanding HR only hire diverse talent and managers are feeling the pressure. But what happens once the candidate joins?

Let’s explore how “diverse talent” feels once they join a Company.

  • Have you ever been the shortest in your class in elementary school?
  • Have you been the only child of divorced parents?
  • Have you experienced being the only family who went to a sunny destination for vacation?
  • Were you ever embarrassed of your clothes or your parents?
  • Have you ever been the only single person in the room or the only married person with children?
  • Were you ever the only one with an accent?
  • Were you the one moving to a new school every couple of years and never feeling like you belonged anywhere?
  • Were you the richest kid in the class? Or the poorest?

Being an adult in the modern world, you might not know what it’s like to be of a different race, but we all know what it’s like to feel different and not belong. How much did it mean to you when you were a kid, and someone said: “Hey, come sit at our table?”

It’s hard enough to feel like the token talent when joining a new company but what’s even harder is to not be invited to a Friday Zoom party or not being asked to speak.


What does it mean to be truly inclusive?

Our DEI Trainings offer this description of Diversity, Belonging and Inclusion:

  • Diversity is being invited to the party
  • Inclusion is being asked to dance ….
  • Belonging is knowing the playlist (but have YOU shared your playlist with THEM?)  It could be inside jokes, future plans or strategy, or maybe just something funny about your past

What can you do as an individual? Look around today and think of who is not included in that Friday zoom chat or might feel like the other on your team.

Unless you’re willing to be a leader who really thinks about the people around them and trains their managers to be more human (in a task-oriented work environment) – you will never create a culture of true inclusion.

Think of one person you can reach out to that is not included.

Ready to create more Inclusive Leaders and Culture? Check out our DEI Training HERE.

When it comes to DEI, language matters…and it’s constantly evolving. Are you using the right terminology in your organization? Download our DEI Terminology Cheat Sheet and see how you stack up.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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