The Imperative of Inclusion

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Addressing one of the pillars of IWF’s mission to champion equality worldwide, UK Chair Julie Goldstein hosted a compelling conversation with Vice Chair Alison Maitland and Rebekah Steele, co-authors of INdivisible. Their research and case studies demonstrate that “inclusion benefits everyone, and everyone has a role to play in advancing it.”

Patricia Bellinger, Chief of Staff to the President of Harvard University, deftly moderated the session, which attracted 100 members across our global chapters. Against a backdrop of massive disruptions due to Covid-19, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter, Alison and Rebekah aspired to provide better ways to build bridges and inclusion. And as Patricia highlighted, we are at a stage in history where Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will become part of a company’s licence to operate.

The authors urge leaders, middle managers and individual employees to abandon piecemeal approaches and adopt a bold, ambitious and comprehensive inclusion strategy. Successful companies link inclusion with their overall purpose, business goals and sustainability, and some are starting to act collectively to impact inclusion in society.

The participants were highly engaged, sharing comments and questions on topics such as compassionate leadership, flexible working, belonging, ageism, neurodiversity and intersectionality. A particularly eye-opening question was posed by IWF UK member Kate Grussing: “Who are our go-to people and do they look just like us?”

Sylvana Caloni

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Event attendees