Inclusive Leadership - a summer of inclusion

Developing inclusive leaders who can connect and engage with people is a real source of competitive advantage.

Research studies show that a diverse team far out-performs a team made up of similar people, but only if the diverse team is led inclusively. If diversity is about the differences, inclusive leadership is about leveraging them, which ultimately leads to growth.

At EY, we know that our success depends on our ability to recognise and make the most of everyone’s unique skills and perspectives. This is about understanding our own frame of reference, seeking out different experiences and collaborating effectively – with each other and with our clients.

So we recently launched an internal initiative to help us explore what makes an inclusive leader. We called this our ‘Summer of Inclusion’

The Summer of Inclusion series explored three key concepts encompassing inclusive leadership:

  • Unconscious bias – exploring who we are as human beings and how that impacts our perceptions and decisions.
  • Insider-outsider dynamics - examines the group dynamics present in every diverse environment, and how those dynamics impact the ability of individuals to be effective and fully utilised.
  • Intent and impact - reviews how frequently there is a mismatch between these two, and how to translate positive intentions into an inclusive impact.

Why a ‘Summer of Inclusion’? Because as some of us headed for the beach or the mountains for a break, we had a little more time to think and reflect and perhaps change how we operate. Over the summer weeks we wanted to explore different aspects of being an inclusive leader, to challenge ourselves to be even better leaders through our inclusivity and challenge the status-quo.

It’s something that all of us think about as part of our commitment to building a better working world – by asking better questions around diversity that will have a positive impact on how we work with our clients and communities.

Inclusive leadership is about building a culture that will give us a sustained competitive advantage ensuring EY continues to be a great place to work for all.

  • Harry Gaskell

About the author

Harry is EY's Advisory Managing Partner in the UK & Ireland and Head of Diversity & Inclusiveness.

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