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Inclusion can be defined as a sense of connection, belonging, and community in a workplace. Organizations that are inclusive help all stakeholders and employees feel known, welcomed, and valued. Moreover, inclusive workplaces encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work with them. Inclusion benefits employers as much as workers. 


An organization that builds an inclusive culture allows employees to feel comfortable being themselves without putting up pretenses. This practice leads to increased engagement and confidence. When employees feel valued and included, their workplace contributions will likely be more valuable. Included employees feel empowered, which leads to more productivity and independence. 


Inclusive workplaces share the following characteristics:


  • Appreciation and respect are shown for the cultural values and backgrounds of all team members.

  • Team members have a voice.

  • Value is placed on equity more than equality. 

  • The company aligns strategically with inclusive practices. 

  • Inclusive language is part of the company's internal and external communications, including promotional materials, job advertisements, and job descriptions. 

  • Employees feel that they're valued. 

  • The organization fosters a collaborative environment.

  • Pay structure is equitable and fair. 

  • Employees are motivated to act inclusively.

  • Company-wide celebrations and activities are inclusive and welcoming to all employees. 

  • The organization supports and embraces change and encourages employees to do the same.

  • Honest and open conversations about unconscious bias are encouraged. 

  • The company is open to differing viewpoints from employees. 

  • The work environment is safe for all members of the team. 

  • Development and learning opportunities are easily accessible. 

  • Transparency is provided in workforce decisions. 

  • All team members have equal access to resources. 




Some examples of inclusion include:


  • Having a private prayer room to accommodate the religious needs of employees

  • Providing gender-neutral restrooms

  • Celebrating diversity during Black History Month, Pride Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Indigenous Peoples Day, and Women's History Month


Related Terms

Inclusive Hiring

refers to a company's practice of minimizing bias and creating an equitable recruiting, application, interview, selection, and hiring process. Inclusive hiring aims to recruit and hire employees from diverse backgrounds, and inclusive hiring can level the playing field for applicants of all backgrounds, ages, abilities, genders, races, sexual orientations, and more.

Inclusive Language

avoids expressing or implying ideas that are sexist, racist, or otherwise biased, discriminatory, or insulting to people. In terms of hiring and recruiting practices, inclusive language avoids marginalizing people based on their social identities or lived experiences.

Inclusive Workplace

is defined as an environment that includes and welcomes all stakeholders and employees regardless of their ability, sexual orientation, cultural background, race, religion, gender, or other differences.

DEI Policy

is the term used to refer to an organization’s policies or programs used to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values. Having a DEI policy in place encourages recruiters to recruit and hire diverse team members and build a welcoming workplace that is free of discrimination.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

is an extension of the concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). While DEI focuses on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, DEIB takes it a step further by also focusing on creating a sense of belonging for all employees. This means fostering an environment where individuals of all backgrounds feel valued, respected, supported, and included in the organization's culture and community. DEIB initiatives can include but are not limited to employee resource groups, employee engagement surveys, affinity groups, cultural competency training, and other employee development opportunities that focus on creating an inclusive and equitable workplace culture and promoting a sense of belonging for all employees.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

is a framework that organizations and individuals can use to create a more equitable, inclusive, and just society. JEDI is an intersectional approach that recognizes that issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are interconnected and cannot be addressed in isolation.


Justice refers to the fair and equitable treatment of all individuals, and the creation of a society that is free from discrimination and oppression. This includes addressing systemic issues such as poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice.


Equity refers to the fair distribution of resources and opportunities, taking into account the different needs and circumstances of individuals and communities. This means recognizing and addressing the ways in which historic and current systems of oppression have led to disparities and working to ensure that everyone has what they need to succeed.


Diversity refers to the recognition and valuing of differences among individuals and groups. This includes differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and other characteristics.


Inclusion refers to the active engagement and involvement of individuals and groups who have been historically excluded or marginalized. This includes creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and able to fully participate.


Together, these elements work to create a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

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