Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership

This means organisations are missing out on the benefits of inclusive leadership: Profit & performance. Inclusive environments are associated with improved job and/or team performance, as well as higher return on income and productivity.

Innovation. Teams with inclusive climates have higher levels of innovation and profit. Having a flexible rather than fixed view of one’s own and other’s identities – a key attribute of inclusive leadership – is associated with greater creativity and improved innovation.

Engagement & opportunity. Inclusive leadership is associated with greater team engagement, while individuals working in more inclusive team climates report higher levels of commitment and satisfaction, and demonstrate access to better job opportunities and career advancement.

Well-being. Inclusion is associated with a higher sense of employee well-being and psychological safety, as well as employees feeling valued and respected. Exclusion is associated with emotional exhaustion, which in turn affects turnover intentions.

Productive conflict. In inclusive teams, employees are better able to resolve conflict and be more satisfied as a result of having worked through the conflict effectively. Inclusion is linked to effective and productive resolution and integration of differing viewpoints.

Legal risk. In inclusive climates, individuals from traditionally marginalised groups experience lower levels of harassment and discrimination. More advanced attitudes about social identity – a key attribute of inclusive leadership – are linked to more positive inter-cultural group relations and less cultural bias.

Talent costs. Inclusion and inclusive leadership are associated with reduced turnover. Indeed, workplaces that encourage employees to voice their opinions and be involved in decision making have on average 33% lower employee turnover.

Australian leaders and organisations can build their capabilities by adopting the mindsets of an inclusive leader and a culture of excellence.