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Inclusion: What a Difference a Few Years Make

What a difference just a few years make. In April 2018, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000. And then in May 2018, it dropped to 3.8%! The rate has been on a steady decline since a high of 10 percent in 2009—a dramatic illustration of how rapidly the employment climate can change and why organizations must have a constant focus on creating a workplace that can attract and retain the best and the brightest. It doesn’t pay to take your eye off the ball, as many short-sighted organizations have done during this timeframe.

We need only look to the impacts of the #MeToo movement and media coverage of some major diversity and inclusion (D&I) fails at major corporations (e.g., Starbucks, Nordstrom) to recognize how real and relevant inclusion is today—and the impact the failure to create and maintain an inclusive environment can have on organizations. Clearly, even the mighty can fall.

In early 2018, a number of shocking situations emerged as the number of incidents of harassment claims continue to rise. An April 2018 headline in The New York Times proclaimed, “At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives,” reporting on a covert survey that was undertaken by a group of women at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and presented to Nike CEO Mark Parker. Over the following weeks, The New York Times reported, at least six senior executives left the organization, including Trevor Edwards, Nike’s president, who had been in line for replacing Parker.

The growing number of examples illustrate the importance of rather than diversity alone, on the ability to attract, retain, and motivate a workforce that will reflect the faces, perspectives and values of a company’s customers. Once again, after the complacency that evolved after 2008’s recessions, corporate America is once again understanding the need to focus on inclusion and diversity!

We were pioneers in inclusion work. I founded InclusionINC in 2001. Our name reflects our focus on inclusion—not diversity—as the critical driver for business success. And we have an exciting announcement.


In Inclusion: STILL the Competitive Business Advantage, we continue our contributions to thought leadership on the importance of inclusion in an environment that has been roiled with new discussion—and new dissent—amid rapidly changing demographics, continually emerging technology and a global economy that is continually shifting to favor newly emerging market powerhouses. We're very gratified by the positive reviews already pouring in.

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