Why a One Size Fits All Approach to Diversity is an Inclusion Mistake

There is no magic bullet, no silver bullet; there is no one size fits all to creating an inclusive workplace

Get your pen and paper ready because I’m going to explain why promoting a “One Size Fits All” approach to Diversity is huge mistake.

In todays show we discuss several things including:

  • The Strategic Error of a “One Size Fits All” approach to Diversity
  • Two Perspectives to consider for your inclusion activities
  • Why copying best practices may be bad news for you and much much more:

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

Copying and pasting from other companies leads to poor strategies

“The problem of one size fits all approach is it means that organisations will attempt to duplicate initiatives or programs that they have seen in other organisations without tailoring it to the needs of their specific organisation”

Duplicating what works in one aspect of diversity may not work with others

“What I’m saying is the approach you use for gender, may not travel well when you apply it to other areas. But so many people still try to do exactly that!”

Treating employees as a homogenous group is ineffective

“These groups have different experiences in the workplace, all face potential disadvantage but it shows up in different ways; they’re subject to different stereotypes”


Dr Richard Norrie: Understanding the Two Sides of Diversity

My LSE Video about Ethnic Penalty 

Why Using the Term “Minority Groups” is a Problem

The Elements of Inclusion #4

Leaders must collaborate innovatively to leverage cultural expertise and drive business performance.

  • Why inclusive outcomes are driven by innovation
  • How developing a business case for diversity and inclusion specific to your organisation is a competitive advantage
  • Why novelty is at the heart of your inclusion journey

The Elements of Inclusion #3

Leaders must establish systems to ensure that everyone shares the same advantages and benefits. These processes will create incentives for inclusive behaviours.

  • How to augment your team with the tools and insights they need to prevent structural disadvantage
  • Why reinforcing generative norms ensures everyone belongs in the organisation
  • How inclusive representations can be embedded to promote an inclusive culture

The Elements of Inclusion #2

Leaders must redefine career development relationships to support inclusive performance.
  • Why traditional mentor relationships must be revised for an inclusive workplace
  • How leaders must embrace networks of developmental relationships for individual growth
  • Why established workplace norms must evolve for inclusion in the modern workplace

The Elements of Inclusion #1

Leaders must properly socialise people and socialise inclusive ideas by providing an environment for the cultural learning needed for an active role in an inclusive organisation

  • How your socialisation processes must evolve to encourage the sustainable cultivation of inclusive competencies
  • Why Leaders must consistently negotiate the line between organisational commitment and personal authenticity to promote performance
  • How developing intersectional self awareness can help leaders to leverage individual employee experiences