How to narrow an inclusion perception gap

In my previous blog, I introduced the concept of an inclusion perception gap and discussed the ways it can occur.

An inclusion perception gap appears when leaders rank the effectiveness of their workplace inclusion initiatives higher than their direct reports.

So, how do you narrow the inclusion perception gap or avoid it altogether?

  1. Proactive listening

How would your team rate you as an inclusive leader? Are your ED&I activities truly inclusive? Well, the best way to find out how you’re doing is to ask!

There are a number of ways you can tap into the feelings of your co-workers, including regular employee surveys, focus groups, feedback during performance reviews and even discussions during team meetings.

When putting in place ED&I initiatives it’s particularly important to consult with people from across all levels of the organisation so everyone feels they are part of the solution and more two-way communication is encouraged.

  1. Accountability

Now you’re asking people their opinions, how do you use this information to improve your performance?

Make sure to put metrics and targets in place, and report your findings and what you plan to do about them to your teams to demonstrate your authenticity and that you take their feedback seriously.

Make sure to also have robust processes in place that make it simple and safe for people to report cases of discrimination and harassment. Promoting these channels and acting swiftly when complaints are made will encourage more people to come forward and share their experiences helping you build a more inclusive workplace.

  1. Self-reflection

Leaders must be humble enough to listen to their colleagues, but they must also be brave enough to confront their own biases that could be clouding their perceptions. How have your own experiences impacted your attitudes and behaviours?

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, there is a wealth of information at your fingertips to educate yourself on the social injustices experienced by marginalised groups and how they are still perpetuated today. This is crucial in developing empathy and highlighting your own blind spots.

  1. Allyship

Practising and encouraging allyship is one of the most powerful steps you can take in creating an inclusive workplace.

Active allies use their position to help open doors to those with less access and take responsibility for making changes that help others to succeed.

Correcting systemic problems doesn’t happen overnight, so be prepared to work at it every day and progress will follow.

  1. Coaching

Find a professional coach, someone with a different background and lived experiences to your own, who can be that independent voice to help you set your goals, plan your ED&I initiatives and keep you accountable every step of the way.


Tell Jane supports organisations across the UK to nurture inclusive and supportive workplaces. From independent consultancy, to managing surveys and focus groups, we can give you an independent view on how you are really operating. Email to get in touch.


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