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  • About the Author: Rebekah Steele

    Rebekah Steele is a Senior Fellow in Human Capital and Program Director, providing diversity & inclusion (D&I) expertise for The Conference Board. Rebekah supports a broad spectrum of D&I …

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05 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
Sustainable Business-Relevant Results: An Ecosystem Approach to Diversity & Inclusion
We know diversity makes us smarter, and as a business executive observed during a D&I Innovation Lab with me, once we know that D&I improves business results, we are irresponsible if we do not act.

05 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
Disrupting Tech to Get D&I Right: 10 Essential Principles
The tech sector has a people problem. Indicators signal significant concerns inside many of these organizations, particularly for the women and racialized persons who beat the odds to make it through the door. Given the clear innovation and business value of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), a lack of commitment and proficiency to make the most of a broad mix of talent is not good news for tech leaders, employees, customers, or investors.

14 Dec. 2016 | Comments (0)
Taking on the D&I Innovation Challenge
In our ever-changing social and business context, D&I leaders are challenged to continually explore new terrain. 120 forward-thinking leaders recently took on this challenge. Together, they co-designed promising new D&I practices while growing their innovation capacity for transformative strategies to elevate meaningful, business-relevant results.

14 Nov. 2016 | Comments (0)
Designing the Future of D&I Together
Contemporary D&I leaders are challenged to be innovators, adept at designing fresh approaches that overcome sticky problems and deliver the full value of D&I. Leaders at the forefront of our field know that an environment that actively fosters the inclusion of diverse identities, thoughts, viewpoints, and experiences can be a valuable source for this much needed innovation.

19 Apr. 2016 | Comments (0)
The Business Case for Homogeneity and Exclusion
D&I professionals do not object to being relevant to the mission of their organizations or to leveraging D&I as an enabler of business strategy. Most agree that all elements of the business, including D&I, must deliver results to help achieve the collective goals of the organization.

07 Mar. 2016 | Comments (0)
Metrics that Matter: More than Diversity ROI
Measuring D&I’s ROI (return on investment) helps leaders demonstrate the impact of their work by comparing the cost of a solution to its monetary payback, and demand for this metric continues to grow. A challenge in our field, though, is the limited investment often devoted to D&I initiatives.

22 Feb. 2016 | Comments (1)
Urgent Responsibility for Rapid Results with Diversity & Inclusion
A call for patience on matters of inclusion is antithetical to how we operate other elements of our businesses and other institutions. Why are standards different when we talk about including and benefiting from the full talents, skills, and ideas of a broad diversity of people working to make a meaningful contribution in our organizations?

02 Nov. 2015 | Comments (0)
Ban your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
In the face of increasingly complex problems and progressively compelling opportunities, your Diversity and Inclusion goals and objectives are not going away. We have a responsibility to design innovative ways of working that can deliver better results.

09 Sep. 2015 | Comments (0)
From Conflict to Conversation: Three Approaches to Navigating the Turbulent Waters of D&I
Increasingly, D&I specialists are challenged to foster healthy dialogue on tough issues in response to turbulent D&I conflicts around the world. No simple training module or toolkit can provide a complete solution to this complex challenge, but evidence suggests 3 orientations that can enhance D&I dialogues.

12 May. 2015 | Comments (0)
Diversity and Inclusion: Breaking Down or Breaking Through
We know we need innovation to realize substantially better results with Diversity & Inclusion, but how do we go about creating fresh ideas capable of generating new value? An innovation lab is one way to overcome this challenge.

21 Oct. 2014 | Comments (0)
An Innovation Lab Approach to Diversity and Inclusion Breakthroughs
Increasingly, forward-thinking organizations recognize the vital importance of effective, integrated D&I strategies in propelling product and service innovations. These organizations often overlook another aspect of the relationship between D&I and innovation.

01 Oct. 2014 | Comments (0)
How Innovation and Inclusion Help Each Other to Help Businesses Grow
As organizations seek new avenues for growth amidst dynamic economic, demographic, technological and social change, both innovation and Diversity & Inclusion are essential. Even more, D&I and innovation can be reciprocally interdependent when each is used to catalyze better outcomes in the other.

12 Dec. 2013 | Comments (0)
Broad Views Spark Diversity and Inclusion Breakthroughs
As Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) leaders scan the landscape for ways to enhance the value created through D&I, how can they be more inclusive of broader sources of insight?

09 Oct. 2013 | Comments (2)
Three New Competencies for Leading Diversity and Inclusion
In my D&I work partnering with and developing corporate, academic, and NGO D&I leaders around the globe, I see the critical importance of 3 additional competencies: Design, Systems Thinking, and Execution.

15 Apr. 2013 | Comments (0)
Breakthroughs in Inclusive Succession Planning
Questions that reshape perspectives can fix talent management systems in ways that naturally enable broader diversity in leadership.

12 Mar. 2013 | Comments (0)
Vital Signs of Diversity and Inclusion
Measuring D&I success is similar to measuring health. To make sense of D&I progress, we have our own D&I “vital signs.” However, such “vital signs” alone do not tell us whether or not our organizations are healthy when it comes to D&I.

29 Jan. 2013 | Comments (2)
Making the Most of Diversity and Inclusion in M&A Integrations
We know that managing diverse company cultures and initiating inclusive cultural change is a key factor associated with successful acquisitions. However, in managing complex cultural integration challenges, the Chief Diversity Officer is often underutilized.

10 Dec. 2012 | Comments (0)
Ten Questions Toward Tangibly Linking Diversity Metrics to Business Success
Think about the most extraordinary contribution that diversity and inclusion has made to your organization and its success. Now, imagine a future in which your organization identifies critical D&I levers that improve strategic business outcomes.

02 Nov. 2012 | Comments (2)
Counting What Counts in Diversity and Inclusion
When it comes to meaningful D&I metrics, are we asking the right questions? Business executives love figures, particularly quantitative measures that definitively measure profit and return on investment. Often, we don’t understand the meanings behind the numbers.

25 Sep. 2012 | Comments (0)
Influence Specific Behaviors for Diversity and Inclusion Results
Being an effective Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) professional entails having the ability to continually influence individuals at all levels in an organization. However, where to focus our efforts is one of the most critical decisions we face.

07 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
Including Introverts in Extrovert Environments
In Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain explores the experiences of introverts as they navigate extroverted cultures which favor those who are gregarious, confident, commanding, and drawn to the limelight.

27 Jul. 2012 | Comments (0)
Someday is not Soon Enough: Rapid Realization of Gender Balance
Years ago in Atlanta, Georgia USA, actor Ruby Dee altered the way I thought about the acceptable pace of change to achieve transformations in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) work. Rather than singing, “We shall overcome some day,” they sang, “We shall overcome Sunday.”

15 Jun. 2012 | Comments (0)
Belonging or Fitting in: Cultivating Inclusion, Engagement and Innovation
Achieving a balanced mix of diverse employees is an important part of D&I work, but this is not enough. It is also important to create an inclusive environment where every employee thrives, flourishes, and feels that he or she belongs.

08 Jun. 2012 | Comments (0)
Balancing Global and Local Interests in a Multinational D&I Strategy
The ever-changing requirements of a diverse market and customer base require organizations to cultivate an agile, inclusive culture. How do you combine multiple perspectives and ways of working together to generate positive outcomes?

30 May. 2012 | Comments (0)
Establishing a Global Framework for Diversity and Inclusion
Even when employees and customers are local, D&I leaders must respond to international megatrends. D&I leaders need to ensure our strategies are both globally and locally relevant. How do we include and make the most of globally diverse populations?

22 May. 2012 | Comments (4)
Changing the Way We Change Minds about Diversity and Inclusion
Influencing sustainable change in the complex realm of Diversity and Inclusion is challenging. With constant demands for better business cases and action plans, we sometimes forget how essential it is to motivate executives and other stakeholders through their feelings.

30 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Cultivating Open Minds to Enable Innovation in Diversity
D&I professionals strive to cultivate open minds to encourage people to understand and value a broad spectrum of perspectives. When we think of people with closed minds, we rarely think of Diversity champions. But what happens when D&I practitioners close our minds to new ideas?

23 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Strategies That Systemically Integrate D&I Into Organizations and their Interdependent Parts Will Enable Better Results
Many prevailing Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are focused on changing individual awareness and behaviours. This reliance on individual awareness, competence and motivation is among the key reasons D&I results are not as meaningful as they need to be.

10 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Extending D&I Value Beyond Human Resources
To expand the impact and sustainability of Diversity and Inclusion, and demonstrate its value across the entire business, we must fully integrate D&I into our organizations. To do this, we need to embed D&I into daily decisions and standard processes in every function.

02 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
New Strategies for Including Everyone in Diversity
New strategies are necessary to avoid unintentional exclusion and make the most of including everyone in diversity.

26 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
Does Inclusion Really Include Everyone?
More than two decades ago, Dr. R. Roosevelt Thomas explained that diversity includes everyone. Based on my research and experiences, these were radical ways of looking at diversity in North America, and it re-framed the foundation of my work.

14 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
Are Your Diversity Goals a Business Distraction or a Business Enabler?
Leaders and managers might not see how they can afford to focus on D&I on top of their business responsibilities. Indeed, part of being a leader is deciding what to do, as well as what not to do, with limited resources.

08 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
Building the Future of Diversity and Inclusion
Some of the most beneficial innovations in contemporary Diversity and Inclusion demonstrate that the path to better results depends in part on questioning and sometimes letting go of former practices and programs with results that are valuable, but not sufficient.

24 Feb. 2012 | Comments (0)
Is Diversity Progress at a Snail’s Pace Good Enough?
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) innovators are well-positioned to accelerate increasingly significant, meaningful, and sustainable results. New D&I practices are needed to make the most of that diverse mix to achieve individual, organizational, and societal goals for this generation.

08 Jan. 2020 | Comments (0)
Learning to work with our differences: What D&I can learn from Restorative Justice
There is much we can learn from other fields and sectors to inform and advance our D&I work. Restorative Justice offers a compelling way of thinking about and managing differences in ways that resonate with D&I principles. By working together, with our differences, we can collectively build stronger organizations and communities.

02 Dec. 2019 | Comments (0)
Let's change the conversation about D&I
Many of us are familiar with pervasive D&I breakdowns that complicate our ability to deliver on the promise of diversity and inclusion for individ…

22 May. 2019 | Comments (0)
Breakthroughs with Design Thinking, Diversity, and Inclusion: Part 2
Progress in the field of D&I is sluggish and often fleeting. To achieve our critical goals for individuals and businesses, we must be willing to question familiar assumptions and re-consider the relevance and effectiveness of today’s best practices.

18 Apr. 2019 | Comments (0)
Breakthroughs with Design Thinking, Diversity, and Inclusion: Part 1
The stakes for getting D&I right are high, both for organizations and individuals. Unfortunately, many of our familiar D&I ‘best practices’ are inadequate amid ever-evolving demands and complicated contexts. To advance D&I outcomes, we need next practices.