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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

How to create a culture of belonging in the workplace

IbyIMD+21 April 2023 in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Fostering curiosity and considering people’s lived experience can increase well-being, motivation, and productivity in the workplace....


Despite a proliferation of diversity and inclusion initiatives across organizations, progress on this front has been patchy. One reason is that the terminology often fails to capture the human experience of being in the workplace. By focusing on belonging – a primal human need to connect with others and feel part of something – organizations will have a better chance of maximizing the wellbeing, motivation, and productivity of their teams, said Helen May, author of Everybody Included, in an I by IMD book club webinar with Heather Cairns-Lee, Affiliate Professor of Leadership and Communication.

Research has shown that when a person feels they don’t belong or can’t be consistent in their identity in different contexts, the pathways in their brain break down, the hippocampus shrinks, and their self-esteem plummets. May said, “If people are not included in their workplace, it affects not only their mental and physical health, but also their performance.”

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