Diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies have simply not moved the needle for corporations. While a variety of factors, including inadequate resources, competing priorities, and lack of accountability, have all contributed to slow progress, changing demographics, the need for innovation, and globalization have made D&I more important than ever. It’s time to rethink traditional approaches.

A complex issue that necessitates an integrated solution, D&I can be enhanced through mindfulness, which focuses on training the mind to balance the sometimes-competing functions of awareness and attention. Hallmarks of mindfulness include the ability to suspend emotional judgment under stress, greater self-awareness, and increased compassion in thought and action. By increasing competencies of presence, awareness, and attention, mindfulness at work can illuminate the behaviors and mindsets that build bridges across differences and enable organizations to leverage the power of D&I.

Learning Objectives:
  • Examine the driving and restraining forces shaping D&I in companies today.
  • Understand how mindfulness increases the ability to pause and manage nonconscious biases in moments of communication and decision.
  • Discuss the advantages of increasing awareness, attention, presence, nonjudgment, and compassion in leadership and team behaviors to build more inclusive workplace cultures.
  • Discuss the advantages of developing mindfulness as a portable competency that enables employees to engage and contribute fully at work.