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How to Be an Inclusive Leader

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How to Be an Inclusive Leader

Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive


15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Equality is an admirable concept. But equity is what counts: establishing a level playing field for all.

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


A Fortune 500 firm suffered a PR debacle when a victim of anti-gay comments filed a harassment suit against it. The CEO hired Jennifer Brown, a diversity and inclusion consultant and LGBTQ+ advocate, to talk to 25 top executives – all white males – about equity. Some executives belittled and dismissed her information; others kept checking their watches. That happens when you challenge the establishment on equity; progress requires knowing what to do and how to do it. Brown offers a step-by-step guide to help your firm do a good job of handling inclusivity and diversity issues. 


Many organizations struggle with inclusivity and diversity.

Most workplaces are neither inclusive nor diverse. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that in 1985, only 3% of US corporate senior managers were Black men; the percentage grew to only 3.3% by 2014. 

Only 1.5% of senior managers in the Fortune 500 are Black women. Half of managers who identify as LGBTQ+ report they feel they must stay closeted at work.

In an equitable employment environment, everyone could bring his or her full self to work without fear. Unfortunately, different kinds of people continue to remain underrepresented or invisible in the workforce.

Employees often must overcome multiple discriminatory barriers.

Many people deal with multiple barriers. Often LGBTQ+ – “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning” – people face workplace discrimination or prejudice. The plus sign added to this acronym stands for inclusion and represents the panoply of different identities and experiences. In the lexicon of diversity...

About the Author

Host of the podcast The Will to Change, Jennifer Brown is founder, president and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), and an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, author, and diversity and inclusion consultant.

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