They say good things come in threes; diversity, equity and inclusion are no exception. While you rarely hear about one without the others, conflating them would be a mistake. Diversity doesn’t beget inclusion, and even the most homogenous teams can have some equitable and inclusive dynamics. Instead, I like to think of equity and inclusion as the foundation upon which diversity is built.
Leaders play a significant role in setting that foundation. Yet we often hold ourselves back from effecting real change because getting honest about our current state of DEI affairs is too uncomfortable (and, by the way, it should be). We fool ourselves into thinking we can take a command-and-control approach, but such efforts are often misguided and ineffective. A lack of diversity is a cultural problem rather than a tactical one.