Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel

Gena Cox, Ph.D.

Why are workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts often disappointing? Organizational psychologist and executive coach Gena Cox asserts that although human variation is normal, true inclusion that embraces these variations remains elusive in the workplace. Leading Inclusion, a “how-to-be” book, educates, challenges, and empowers executives and business owners to lead inclusion from the top of the organization.

This plain-spoken-yet-nuanced guide shows leaders how to set and incorporate a vision for diversity and inclusion that enables marginalized employees to see and feel the difference in their day-to-day work experiences. Leading Inclusion challenges many preexisting beliefs about leading “diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)” and urges leaders to develop the mindset for bold action this work requires.

Leading Inclusion reframes inclusion as a leadership competency and imperative rather than a moral obligation. Using research from conversations with executives, scholars, DEI practitioners, and the experiences of employees of color Leading Inclusion offers a variation to the traditional “DEI framework. The book’s “Respect First” REDI (Respect, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) model argues for the primacy of Respect. Cox believes that if underrepresented employees don’t feel respected, the “programs or initiatives” leaders implement will not be meaningful or impactful.

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