Promoting inclusive leadership: Nurturing a workforce rich in Diversity and Engagement

4 min | Louisa Benedicto | Article | Leadership

A woman with a pixie haircut smiles as she holds a small rainbow pride flag.

It’s time to revolutionize the corporate landscape! The era when inclusive leadership was merely a trendy phrase has passed. Now, it’s about embracing everyone, igniting innovation, and assembling teams that are as varied as they are passionate. True inclusivity in leadership means action over words; it’s about ensuring every voice is acknowledged and valued. This approach isn’t just a morale booster; it’s a proven strategy for enhancing collaboration, fostering a positive work environment, and achieving organizational objectives.

In my role as the Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plus Corporate Social Responsibility + Sustainability for the Americas Region at Hays, I am fervently dedicated to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture. But what exactly does it mean to be an inclusive leader, and how does it contribute to tangible outcomes?

Let’s talk inclusive leadership

Inclusive leadership goes beyond the confines of conventional leadership approaches. Here are the fundamental components that any leader can integrate:

  • Curiosity as a catalyst: Leaders with a curious mindset actively pursue a variety of viewpoints. They delve into deep inquiries, upend preconceived notions, and encourage a culture of discovery. This kind of curiosity sparks inclusive thought and leads to well-informed decisions.
  • Emotional intelligence (EI): Inclusive leaders have a keen understanding of emotions, both their own and those of others. EI is the cornerstone of compassion, clear communication, and the skillful handling of intricate interpersonal dynamics with care.
  • Cultural intelligence (CQ): CQ equips leaders with the ability to navigate and respect different cultural practices, beliefs, and ways of communicating. It’s essential for fostering effective teamwork among individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Conscious role modeling: Leaders who practice inclusion set a precedent. By demonstrating behaviors like attentive listening, impartiality, and respect, they motivate everyone to emulate these inclusive practices.
  • Fostering team collaboration: Inclusive leaders give precedence to teamwork over individual competition. They understand that the collective wisdom of diverse teams is the driving force behind innovation and superior results.

Join our webinar to learn how to implement effective leadership strategies.

How can I be an inclusive leader?

To cultivate inclusive leadership, one must undertake deliberate practices that nurture unity and cooperative effort. Consider these three pivotal actions to refine your approach to inclusive leadership:

  1. Nurture a supportive atmosphere: Commit to active listening and create opportunities for team members to voice their professional and personal challenges. Build an environment of warmth and emotional solidarity, making each individual feel cherished and integral to the team.
  2. Champion team diversity: Welcome and integrate a rich tapestry of individuals with diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and life experiences. Acknowledge the power of diversity as a catalyst for ingenuity and enhanced performance.
  3. Promote open dialogue: Foster a culture of candid and clear communication, ensuring a safe space where psychological safety is paramount.

The winning edge: cultivating top talent through inclusive leadership 

It’s crystal clear: neglecting to cultivate a culture where every individual thrives is akin to squandering elite talent. In today’s competitive landscape, where securing top-tier professionals is exceedingly challenging, overlooking this is a grave mistake. So, what’s the strategy? Turn up the dial on teamwork and involve everyone—engaging in discussions, ideation sessions, and beyond. Inclusive leadership transcends mere motivational slogans; it’s a strategic play that elevates employee contentment and skyrockets productivity.

Bear in mind, when organizations fail to foster an environment where each person can excel, they’re not only forfeiting a trendy reputation—they’re bypassing the extraordinary talents that propel innovation and triumph.

Our Promise to you

At Hays, we’re committed to nurturing an inclusive culture. Our approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) is more than just a catchphrase—it’s a proactive commitment to integrate mindful inclusion throughout the entire employee journey, creating opportunities for all to thrive.

We believe in the power of deeds over declarations. Utilizing our unparalleled recruitment knowledge and advisory proficiency, Hays aims to drive meaningful and enduring transformation within the industries and communities your enterprise serves. Together, let’s tap into the possibilities of a workforce strategy that’s as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as it is effective.

Let's unlock the potential of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce strategy.


Let’s talk about inclusive leadership

Learn more detail about how to practically apply these principles join our webinar: The science of Psychology of inclusive leadership, where I will explore how data and evidence can be leveraged to implement effective leadership strategies, contributing to long-term organizational success.

You will learn about:

  • The psychology of curiosity as a driver for inclusive thinking and decision-making 
  • How emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence drive inclusive behaviors 
  • How inclusive leaders role model conscious inclusion 
  • Driving psychology safety and belonging through perspective-taking 
  • Trust-building through team collaboration 


  • Thursday, June 27
  • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM CST
  • Online event

Register now to save your spot!

About this author

Louisa Benedicto
SVP, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Americas

Louisa is Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), Corporate Social Responsibility, and Sustainability at Hays – covering the Americas region including Canada, the U.S., and Latin American Countries. She specializes in DE&I, enabling our clients to implement best practices that ensure everyone gets a fair opportunity in the recruitment process.

Connect with Louisa on LinkedIn

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