Vishwapriya Kochhar, co-founder and managing director of BlewMinds Consulting, recollects how as a young manager she had applied for an internal job posting of a very senior role. She was informed that many others had applied but that she was the only female applicant. The role involved working with stakeholders from different functions as well as ethnicities.
She goes on to say, “two of us were shortlisted for the role after a competitive process of multiple work reviews, case study presentations, psychometric evaluations and global virtual interviews. I was called in for a special meeting with the interview panel. I was clearly told that this role will be hard, very male-centric but they want to give me a chance as they believe in building a progressive, equal work environment where everyone gets equal opportunities to unleash their potential and drive impact.”
This left a deep impact on Vishwapriya's psyche and she automatically grew in her career with the mindset of being a fair and inclusive leader. It is the culture that inspires young minds more than anything else.
A culture of acceptance creates unbiased leaders
An inclusive organization designs its policies keeping in mind its responsibility toward acceptance of all. There is transparency in the culture. This means giving equal opportunities to people—irrespective of age, race, color, gender and sexual orientation—and ensuring no group is marginalized.
A culture of appreciation creates empowered leaders
Employees need to feel valued and heard. Appreciation of good work is imperative. A manager whose opinion is taken into consideration feels motivated and wants to contribute whole-heartedly toward the success of the organization.
Appreciation should also reflect fairly in appraisals. An inclusive organization identifies managers who can be entrusted with leadership roles and empowers them.
A culture of advancement creates progressive leaders
An inclusive workplace values excellence and provides growth opportunities along with coaching, mentoring and training. Women leaders for example would do well with provisions like crèche for children and a competitive maternity policy.
It’s simple, if we want better leaders inclusivity is the way forward. As the quote goes, “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance!”
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