As movie director Spike Lee admitted he learned while onstage at the CoreNet Global Summit in California this fall, there is an important  difference between diversity and inclusivity.

Inclusivity refers to a a practice of encouraging participation, mentoring and sponsoring leadership for people of diverse backgrounds.

The terms are often confused. However, this week the Harvard Business Review published an article on how to create an inclusive workplace, with five key strategies:

  • Emphasize the business case for diversity and inclusion
    When workplace teams reflect their target customers, the entire team is more than twice as likely to innovate effectively for their end users.
  • Recognize bias
    In de-biasing trainings, supervisors learned to recognize and control their inclinations to nominate candidates who were similar to themselves and instead acknowledge great candidates of color.
  • Practice inclusive leadership
    Leaders can make women of color feel valued and included by prizing authenticity over conformity and operating from an understanding that a range of presentation and communication styles can succeed in the workplace
  • Provide sponsorship programs
    A mentor’s advice is not enough; a sponsor’s meaningful advocacy makes all the difference.
  • Hold leaders accountable
    Make sure that inclusion is a core value of the organization — not just something you do to “check a box.”