The Key to Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity and Belonging for You, Your Team and Your Organisation, reviewed

We look at this topical and timely book, which is edited by Stephen Frost, and, logically, has a wide and diverse collection of authors. You can see more about the book here.

The Key to Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity and Belonging for You, Your Team and Your Organisation, reviewed

This book is naturally timely, especially as there is pushback against ‘woke’ culture, especially by populist leaders, who often then use dogwhistle styled memes to tap into deeper, more racist and homophobic messages. Woke has come to be seen as weak, overly liberal, leftist leaning, invariably used by antidemocratic leaders, looking to whip up fear and mistrust to serve their own, invariably, self serving aims.

In contrast this book, and its various authors is a positive illustration of the benefits of diversity, tolerance and empathy for others. While this planet is full of many, many (so might say too many) human, we are not from one race, tribe, culture, country or even continent.

Therefore, in these unavoidably deeply interconnected and cross border dependence world, it makes sense to have smart strategies to get the most out of all of your workforce, your partners, clients and corporate relationships. Or rather, for those that do, there are massive benefits. For those that continue to tout anti diversity, racist, anti-woke perspectives, they will find themselves becoming increasingly less relevant and accepted by others, both at home and overseas.

The succession of different authors has been handled well and is not too jarring as you cross from one chapter to the next. There are good deep dives into what inclusion actually means, and the best ways to try and achieve it, and continue to see it happening. As one chapter articulates, we have gone from simply trying to work with other people, to trying to work like other people, to meet them on their terms and to therefore garner the benefits of how others think and work.

This book works well, is thoughtful, well laid out, and gets beyond just sloganeering to breaking down into bite sized chunks what actions you could be taking to help tackle these issues well and with an impact. While others may deride woke culture and tendencies, many of these voices are invariably white male octogenarians, which does suggest that the loudest voices may not be the longest or most reflective of where the world is heading.

More about the book

Recognising the importance of diversity, belonging and equity is not enough. This book has the practical guidance needed to think differently and make true inclusion a reality.

Edited by Stephen Frost, a leading voice in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) space, this book is a must-have for all those who know that achieving inclusion at work is important but don’t know where to start. It covers how to be more inclusive as an individual by changing your mindset and building your cultural intelligence.

As well as how to develop more inclusive teams by adapting management practice and environments whatever the size or structure of your business. The Key to Inclusion also provides tools, strategies and advice on inclusion at an organizational level through inclusive strategy, leadership, governance, data, systems and processes.

Supported by real-world examples, interviews and case studies from BBC, the UK National Health Service (NHS), AstraZeneca and LinkedIn, this book looks beyond inclusion in the present to examine inclusion in the future and particularly in tech, financial services and TV.

With chapters from a diverse group of expert voices, this book is crucial reading for all HR professionals and business leaders who are looking to deliver true inclusion as individuals, in their teams, in their organizations and communities.

The Key to Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity and Belonging for You, Your Team and Your Organization, edited by Stephen Frost is published 3rd July 2022 by Kogan Page, priced £29,99

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