Build an Inclusive Workplace

– by Madeleine Long

Many Australian business and government leaders have made diversity and inclusion a key talking point with employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the media. However, while there is a reasonable level of awareness in many organisations, the ground realities are often still far from ideal. In these cases, leaders believe that representational diversity means that there is workplace inclusion, which is often not the case.


Despite the awareness that inclusive leaders are better equipped to lead through economic, organisational and political uncertainty, leadership teams often struggle to understand the practicalities of how to become more inclusive and to leverage diversity. Inclusive leadership in the contemporary workplace is not without its challenges. Overcoming entrenched overt and covert unconscious biases, ‘group think’ and stereotyping takes time and unwavering commitment.

Diversity without inclusion is not enough. Inclusion puts the concept and practice of diversity into action by creating an environment of involvement, respect, and connection – where the richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are harnessed to create business value.

Those organisations that are already leveraging diversity are reporting direct links to success. Those leaders who understand the value of inclusion, and visibly modelling actions to support inclusion, are reaping the rewards of high-performing teams who consistently deliver outstanding results. Reducing the complexity of the change process and focusing on short term inclusion deliverables can make all the difference to the longer-term transition from diversity to inclusion.

Noetic has developed a practical model to accelerate building an inclusive workplace. It involves the following:

  1. making inclusive leadership a strategic goal;
  2. developing inclusive leaders who role-model inclusion;
  3. linking inclusion to high-performance teams;
  4. designing and funding initiatives to embed inclusion; and
  5.  measuring impact.

For more information on building an inclusive workplace, download the Noetic Knowledge Leadership Insight: Maximising diversity and performance through inclusive leadership.

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 by using the hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter