Representation & Inclusion in the Workplace


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This week we are diving into “Representation and Inclusion” in week 2 (of 4) our Diversity & Inclusion series for the #shiftyestribe. There’s a lot to unpack this month, and we recommend reading/watching the videos and blogs in order for this topic.

Watch now: Week 1 of Diversity & Inclusion

The business case for representation in the workplace.

The business case for the value of diversity and representation to your business is irrefutable.

Representation in leadership and throughout your company matters and there’s a very concrete example of how this impacts your company from both a recruitment and retention standpoint.

For any employee who is a member of a minority, for example a woman or a person of color, who looks to the executive team or leadership positions throughout the organization and doesn't see themselves represented, it can send a message either unconsciously or consciously that moving up into those more advanced positions may not be a possibility for them at the company. If they look at another company and do see themselves represented, it communicates that the company honors diversity and that there may be a more viable career path for them there. This obviously has an impact on retention because employees are much more likely to stay at a company where feel they’ll be given opportunities for advancement.

Additionally, while attracting and recruiting candidates to your company, think about the perception of candidates who look at your executive team and other leadership and non-leadership positions throughout the organization and see no representation. When it comes to them making a choice about their career and advancement, it is likely to be much more of a draw for them to work for a company where there’s a lot of diversity and they see themselves represented in leadership and throughout the organization.

Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusivity is being asked to dance.
— Vernā Myers

There are also loads of studies and research done by McKinsey, Deloitte, and Gallup (links to great research) that correlate diversity (gender, race, socioeconomic background, etc.) inside leadership teams and companies that shows that those companies significantly outperform other companies financially, that they make decisions faster, waste less time in meetings, and overall perform higher as a organization. The business case for the value of diversity and representation to your business is irrefutable.

Inclusivity boosts performance.

For an individual person to feel included, to feel welcome and valued and like they have a seat at the table and a voice that matters in the organization, is a recipe for engagement, discretionary effort, and high performance. When people feel like they matter, they show up in a completely different way and are more enthusiastically about their jobs. They also stick around with their company and stay significantly longer in their roles which means less turnover from higher performing employees.

If diversity, inclusion, and representation are not on your radar and a priority in your organization then you are missing the boat, big time.

More Resources:

This article was created by keynote speaker Galen Emanuele for the #shiftyestribe. Free leadership and team culture content centered on a new focus every month. Check out the rest of this month's content and subscribe to the Shift Yes Tribe at