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3 brilliant ways to build inclusivity in 2023 

 In Diversity and Gen Z

When it comes to organizations, members of Gen Z tend to be drawn to those that practice inclusivity as part of their values. More than 60 percent of the young people we surveyed in 2020 said people should be treated equally no matter what it takes to do so, and nearly 40 percent said they’d only join an organization if inclusion was a top priority. 

It’s not enough to be diverse – young people want to be in environments where steps are being taken to be welcoming, supportive and respectful of all people. As DEI expert and Netflix’s head of inclusion strategy Vernā Myers says, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Because inclusion represents an overall feeling of belonging, it can be a challenge to gauge how well an organization is doing it via a survey or some other measure – it takes more nuance. Here are four ways to build the type of inclusivity that attracts and retains Gen Zers:

  • Pay attention to those in the margins.

    When assessing inclusion, it can be easy to default to the responses of the organization’s more vocal members. Yet, rich information lies in the responses of those who maybe don’t show up as much or those who tend to hang in the background – there could be reasons why that is happening. Intentionally seek out those people and ask them about their experiences in the organization and understand if they feel unwelcome or not valued in some way. Then, take active steps for changes based on what you hear.

  • Don’t assume that inclusion is happening.

    To best assess whether inclusion is a reality in your organizational culture, ask members of the organization. See if their opinions and experiences are sought out and acted upon. If not, take swift action to change it. How might the organization (and the people within it, and the culture) be shifted to invite more people to the table in all aspects of operations?

  • Use creativity and lived experience to foster inclusion.

    Each member of your organization has stories that make them who they are. Invite those stories to be shared in creative ways. As humans, we innately respond to art, music and other modes of creativity. By inviting people to share their authentic selves in creative ways, it both makes people feel valued and builds rapport among members. All organizations – not just arts organizations – can benefit from this approach. How can creative opportunities for people to share their experiences help further the mission of the organization, or better connect with clients or customers? Practicing inclusion can be good for both business and morale. 

 See more of Springtide’s work to understand what young people value in organizations! 

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