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by Clare Morin
HR Trends

How can leaders build inclusion, equity and diversity?


We have pivoted our program, this week, to address the situation unfolding in the U.S. right nowand the social injustices that have been part of our society for centuries. This is a traumatic time for people of color in the workplace, and it requires all of us to engage. How can we lead by example in inclusion and diversity? What courageous conversations can we or should we be having?

 Top takeaways

  • The three Es of inclusion are: 1) Equitable: Be fair, 2) Engaging: Be inviting, and 3) Exemplary: Be an example. Having a diverse organization is not enough; leaders must be inclusive when providing opportunities to contribute and succeed. [03:50]
  • Reverse mentoring is a powerful way to spark courageous conversations within organizations. [08:08]
  • Leaders and managers need to face uncomfortable conversations. To allow breakthroughs, be vulnerable, and allow teammates the psychological safety they need to learn and take risks. [09:09]
  • Be mindful of the trauma people are going through in the workplace. Ben-Saba Hasan, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Walmart, equates mental trauma with physical trauma. If we can make a psychologically safe space at work, we can also create a space for healing. [10:19]
  • Lean into this and take ownership. Employees are watching and expecting accountability. [11:56]
  • Start today, take small steps. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but those small decisions will make all the difference. [16:36]

Start with your employees: Look internally for opportunities like reverse mentoring, building employee resource groups, or reaching out to new people to engage with. 

CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion
Code Switchpodcast by NPR
Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change, Jennifer Brown
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
The Hate U Give,Angie Thomas
What If?: Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue, Steve L. Robbins
Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality, Richard Kluger

Featured speakers
Wade A. Hinton
Vice President, Global Inclusion and Diversity at Unum

Wade Hinton is passionate about leadership as a force for good, for all. He’s on a mission to make leaders, organizations and communities appreciate the power of inclusion. Whether it’s embedding inclusion into the operations of a global company with more than 10,000 employees or serving as the chief legal officer for a city leading the nation in innovation, Wade loves working with organizations to help them address strategic issues that impact people and performance. Wade is recognized as a leader locally and nationally for his work as a lawyer, business leader and diversity champion.

Tim Arnold
President & CEO, Colonial Life and 
Executive Vice President, Voluntary Benefits, Unum Group

Tim Arnold was named executive vice president, voluntary benefits, and president, Colonial Life in February 2020, responsible for shaping an enterprise-wide approach to voluntary benefits while continuing to lead Colonial Life. Arnold previously served as executive vice president, president and chief executive officer, Colonial Life. 


Episode 15

by Clare Morin