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"5 Key Strategies for Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace"

diversity equity inclusion- inclusive leadership- unconscious bias- belonging- psychological safety
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace-Christina @

Once upon a time, in a bustling corporate office, a new leader, Sarah, was appointed. She walked into a team diverse in skills but not in backgrounds or perspectives. Sarah quickly realized that the company's diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts were more superficial than substantial. This is a story about her journey to transform her team into a truly inclusive unit.

The Journey Begins

Sarah's journey began with a simple realization: Diversity in the workplace is not just about numbers or meeting quotas; it is about creating an environment where different perspectives are not only present but also heard and valued. She started by assessing the current state of her team, identifying gaps in diversity and understanding the team's dynamics.

Understanding Diversity Beyond Numbers

For Sarah, diversity was not just about race, gender or ethnicity; it included diversity of thought, experience, learning styles, background and all parts of individual intersectionality. She initiated open discussions about diversity, inviting team members to share their stories and experiences. This helped in creating a sense of belonging and understanding among the team.

The Challenge Of Authentic D&I

Leaders like Sarah often face the daunting task of turning D&I from mere buzzwords into a living, breathing part of their organization's culture. The first hurdle is recognizing the barriers to creating an inclusive workplace. These barriers can range from unconscious biases to a lack of understanding about what true diversity and inclusion entail.

Unconscious Bias: The Invisible Barrier

Unconscious bias is like an unseen force that shapes our perceptions and decisions without our even realizing it. For Sarah, addressing this meant first acknowledging its presence. She organized workshops and training sessions that showed the team that we all have bias and what we do with it is what matters. These opened channels to help her team have difficult conversations and to recognize and counteract their own biases.

The Power Of Inclusive Leadership

Sarah knew that to build a truly inclusive culture, she needed to go beyond just awareness. She implemented policies that encouraged diverse hiring practices and promoted equal opportunities for growth and development within the team. She also made sure that all voices were heard in meetings and decision-making processes. She understood that before having equality she needed to practice equity.

Inclusive leadership is not just about bringing diverse individuals together; it is about valuing their unique contributions, valuing them for who they are so they feel they belong and matter. Sarah learned to listen actively and encourage different viewpoints, creating an environment where every voice counts.

Action Steps For Leaders

1. Conduct regular training.

Leaders should organize training sessions on unconscious bias and cultural competence.

2. Foster open communication, even for difficult conversations.

Encourage team members to share their experiences and perspectives in a safe environment.

3. Lead by example.

Show commitment to D&I through your actions and decisions.

4. Evaluate your policies.

Regularly review company policies to ensure they support diversity and inclusion, helping counteract the second-generation biases often embedded in guidelines and policies.

5. Celebrate diversity.

Recognize and celebrate the diverse backgrounds and achievements of your team members.

Overcoming Resistance

Change is never easy, and Sarah faced her share of resistance. Some team members were skeptical about the changes, fearing they might lead to favoritism or a lowering of standards; some even felt threatened in their own jobs.

Sarah realized that empathy and taking action through compassion were key to overcoming resistance. She took the time to listen to her team's concerns and fears, addressing them with patience and understanding. Sarah addressed these concerns head-on, emphasizing that diversity and excellence go hand in hand and that an inclusive environment benefits everyone, creating more opportunities for everyone to reach their potential.

She also shared her vision of how a diverse and inclusive team could lead to better problem-solving, creativity and overall performance.

Measuring Progress

To track the effectiveness of her initiatives, Sarah implemented metrics to measure diversity and inclusion within her team. These included surveys to gauge team satisfaction and feedback mechanisms to understand the impact of the new policies. Including D&I goals in annual performance evaluations also is a great motivator for action.

Celebrating Small Wins

Every small step toward a more inclusive environment should be celebrated. Whether it was a successful diverse hire or a productive discussion on inclusion, acknowledging these milestones helps in building momentum and keeping the team motivated.

The Road Ahead

Sarah's journey is ongoing. She understands that creating an inclusive workplace is a continuous process that requires constant effort and adaptation. It is not the flavor of the month or some glitzy words on a website.

Sarah's journey is a testament to the fact that with the right approach, leaders can transform their workplaces into inclusive environments. It is not an overnight change but a continuous journey of learning, understanding and executing.

For leaders embarking on this journey, remember, diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords; they are the pillars of a thriving, dynamic and innovative workplace. Sarah remains committed to learning, growing and leading her team toward a more inclusive future.

The moral of the story is that it is possible to transform a workplace into a diverse and inclusive environment. The journey might be challenging, but the rewards—a more dynamic, innovative and cohesive team—are well worth the effort.


My name is Sahar Andrade, I help organizations increase their employee engagement by investing in Diversity/Inclusion practices as well as through Leadership Development Coaching.

I coach successful leaders that are stuck to reinvent their lives with courage, release their fears, get clarity on their purpose and pursue their dreams.

My teachings, my unique education and experience combined with singular approach to realizing change, form a proven system for long lasting positive transformation.

My methodology is based on human psychology, N.L.P. practices and research to break down issues, reverse engineer them, and deconstruct personal myths, while developing personal leadership skills development. It is a simple step by step program, modules, exercises, one on one and group coaching.

This is my TED TALK : Overcoming Negative Thoughts

I am the founder of “Sahar Consulting, LLC” and “Reinvent Yourself to Greatness


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