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Inclusion on Purpose

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Inclusion on Purpose

An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work

MIT Press,

15 min read
11 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Avoid “casual” racism and sexism in the workplace.

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Ruchika Tulshyan takes aim at the challenges women of color face at work. She wants you to admit, as she does about herself, that you’re racist. This racism includes anyone who participates in or stands by when another person suffers subtle or casual experiences of racism. Using heart-wrenching stories, Tulshyan describes these instances and the cumulative damage they cause. She focuses on what you must do to make work safe for women of color. Tulshyan writes for leaders and influencers – people of privilege – whom she urges to speak up, intervene and advocate for women of color.


Bias and prejudice against women of color persist worldwide.

If women enjoyed full engagement in their work, the US economy would swell by over $4 trillion annually, and the global economy by $12 trillion. But the struggles white women face differ dramatically from those women of color must endure. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts too often ignore intersectionality: Women of color face additional barriers due to gender- and race-based biases combined.

Women of color outnumber women of all other racial identities in the workforce and their share continues to grow. But inclusion doesn’t follow diversity. You must practice it on purpose, especially when it comes to women of color.

Systemic barriers and exclusion of women of color manifest in cultural white supremacy worldwide. Many people still associate wealth and achievement with whiteness; Blackness – depending on its degree away from whiteness – invites bias and discrimination. Overt racism may occur less now than in the past, but blaming racist incidents on “unconscious bias” lets perpetrators off the hook while ignoring the effects on...

About the Author

Ruchika Tulshyan founded and leads Candour, a DEI consulting firm. Previously a business journalist, Tulshyan co-authored the viral 2021 Harvard Business Review article, “Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome.”

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