The Inclusion Dividend | Mark Kaplan

Summary of: The Inclusion Dividend: Why Investing in Diversity and Inclusion Pays Off
By: Mark Kaplan

Introduction

The Inclusion Dividend: Why Investing in Diversity and Inclusion Pays Off by Mark Kaplan dives deep into the world of meritocracy, debunking the myth that hard work always leads to success. Shedding light on the lack of diversity and return on investment in inclusive workplaces, Kaplan exposes the flaws of unconscious biases and insider-outsider dynamics that hinder businesses from reaching their true potential. This book summary for our mobile app users will provide insights on how implementing an Inclusion Initiative Phases (IIP) model can help organizations build a more inclusive environment, and demonstrates the lasting impacts it can have for both employees and customers.

The Myth Of Meritocracy

The reality of meritocracy in the workplace delusion.

Have you ever worked hard and believed that success will come if you put in all the necessary work? That’s the idea behind meritocracy. The system that assures us that our hard work will be rewarded; however, it’s not always the case. Meritocracy is deeply ingrained in the business world and has become part of the American Dream. It’s the belief that anyone can achieve their goals by working hard.

If you asked a board member of a Fortune 1000 company if their corporation was a meritocratic system, they would say yes. They believe that their employees are hired, promoted, and kept onboard based solely on their abilities. However, that’s not the reality. Statistics show that women have a lack of opportunities for promotion and respect in the workplace. Only 15% of all executive positions at Fortune 500 companies are held by women, even though the female population makes up almost 50%.

Moreover, a meritocratic system doesn’t exist in the business world. Low diversity is terrible for business. Global corporations spend about $8 billion annually to promote a more inclusive corporate culture. This is not only to avoid discrimination lawsuits but because businesses that embrace inclusion ideas are more profitable. The Standard and Poor’s corporations that also made it onto Working Mother’s 100 top companies for inclusion brought back 98% on every dollar invested!

Unveiling the Impact of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is a type of judgment that influences your thought and behavior towards others without you being aware of it. Biases aid in rapid decision making but can have negative effects when you are unaware of them. This occurs even in the workplace as biases can cause significant issues. For instance, a highly skilled African American applicant may miss out on a job opportunity. Employers must be conscious of biases’ effects to ensure diversity and inclusivity.

Understanding Insider-Outsider Dynamics

The book explores how every organization has insider-outsider groups based on factors like age, sex, class, and education. These groupings create a power dynamic where those in the insider group dominate those in the outside group, leading to imbalances in the workplace and decreased productivity and creativity. Failing to address these dynamics can result in lost opportunities for great ideas and highly skilled employees who quit their jobs due to unfair power dynamics. The book highlights the importance of acknowledging and addressing these dynamics to create a stable and satisfied workforce.

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