Conscious inclusion: why we need it and how we do it | Forward Thinkers

6 minute watch

Unless you are consciously including people you are almost certainly unconsciously excluding them, says Catherine Garrod, author of Conscious Inclusion: How to do ‘EDI’ one decision at a time. She tells The People Space editorial director Siân Harrington why we need a business case to not do inclusion and offers her tips for starting your conscious inclusion journey

In today's world creating a culture of inclusion is critical for business success. The benefits of inclusion are numerous, including increased innovation, better decision-making and higher employee engagement.

However, says Catherine Garrod, founder of Compelling Culture and author of Conscious Inclusion: How to do ‘EDI’ one decision at a time, it's not enough to simply focus on diversity. Organisations must embrace conscious inclusion to ensure that everyone is valued, heard and involved. This means making decisions intentionally, rather than relying on automatic thinking based on our own experiences – what she calls conscious inclusion.

As former head of inclusion at Sky, Garrod led the entertainment company to become the most inclusive employer in the UK, with 80% of teams increasing their diversity in two years. She believes that organisations must stop waiting for the right time for inclusion and just start taking small steps, for imperfect change is better than no change.

In this video Garrod discusses why we need a business case not to do inclusion rather than one to do inclusion and how to get started on the path towards conscious inclusion. She argues that it is critical to build a culture that fosters inclusivity before rushing to increase diversity in senior positions. By identifying gaps and building on existing strengths, businesses can develop stronger foundations for their inclusion journey.

You can also read Garrod’s article for The People Space on Beyond the gender pay gap: how to truly report on inclusion here.

About Catherine Garrod

Catherine Garrod is the founder of Compelling Culture and author of Conscious Inclusion: How to ‘do’ EDI one decision at time. She works with organisations to boost the experience for colleagues, customers and communities. Garrod believes when employees can be themselves and influence how things are done, their lives are better, and they're more creative and better problem solvers. And when consumers are authentically represented in media, products and services, organisations and the communities they serve to thrive.

Garrod led Sky to become the Most Inclusive Employer in the UK, with 80% of teams increasing their diversity. Now as a consultant, she combines the power of listening, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, to make the complex simple. And collaborates to define practical actions people can implement today, tomorrow and the day after, to transform the organisations she works with. Clients using her inclusion diagnostic are achieving a 15% improvement within 18 months.

Listen to our podcast with Catherine to discover the common traps organisations fall into when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, why mandatory unconscious bias training can activate bias rather than stamp it out and how to best measure the impact of inclusion strategies. Check out the Work’s Not Working… Let’s Fix It! podcast. And sign up to our fortnightly newsletter to access downloadable transcripts of this, and our other video interviews, as well as updates that don’t appear on this website

Published 19 July 2023
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