Inclusive Leadership and Unconscious Bias in the Workplace


1 day

Inclusive Leadership and Unconscious bias! What are they?

Adopting authentic Inclusive Leadership practices with a clear focus on working towards eradicating Unconscious Bias defines to a large extent the high performing leader from their relatively successful yet unexceptional peer group members. Inclusive leadership helps to describe how the achievement of high performing relationships can support the achievement of great outcomes at both a commercial (for the business) and personal (for the individual) level. Inclusive leadership simply means collaborating with people to overcome challenges, issues and business imperatives, rather than strictly managing people in the traditional sense, with the mind-set that “the leader knows best”. This is the spirit of inclusive leadership and this approach leads to a far more engaging and mutually beneficial partnership that will ultimately drive a high performance culture.

Unconscious Bias is inextricably bound to the failure in adopting Inclusive Leadership practices. In recent years studies undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK have highlighted that tall people earn more money than their relative peer group who are much shorter. This is significantly prevalent in those industries where direct face to face customer relationships occur. Why does this happen? Clearly the heads of HR do not, when conducting a search for the next senior manager, send out a message to “get us a tall guy” and yet the numbers speak for themselves. In fact, when corrected for age and gender, an inch of height is worth approximately £515 per year in salary!

Reflecting back on the British Prime Ministers going back forty years or so, with the exception of Mrs. Thatcher [5'5"] and Harold Wilson [5'8"] all the rest of them have been between 5’11″ and 6’1″. So does height have a direct correlation on power, esteem and success? Many other studies confirm that height does not always equate in this way, take Dmitry Medvedev, current Prime Minister of Russia, at 5’ 4”, Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President at 5’ 5” or Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at 5’ 5”.

On a basic psychological level the concept of unconscious bias is established in most, if not all of us. These biases can contribute to forming our basic assumptions on how we view another person, this can be as simple as our inherent like or dislike of another them simply by the way they look, act, behave or sound like.

Our thoughts and decisions are constantly influenced by our unconscious biases. Imagine, for example, that you have an ingrained unconscious belief that “young black men are lazy” (as untrue as that stereotype might be). How do you manage a young black man who reports to you? What actions are you likely to take? Isn’t it likely that you will have a tendency to micro-manage him? Are you more or less likely to invest in developing him? Are you more or less likely to put him on high level assignments? Are you more or less likely to introduce him to key decision makers in the organisation? When he makes a mistake, are you more or less likely to accept his explanation?

This workshop offers inspiration, guidance and clarity around some key ethical issues which we all face in our busy lives. Our decisions and actions affect others, so our decisions and actions need to be sound and our judgements and behaviour need to be based not only on corporate compliance but observance to the correct moral and ethical path, offering a fair and inclusive style of leadership that all followers can benefit from.

Programme Objectives

By the end of this workshop, delegates will be able to:

  • Define work and business ethics in a concise manner

  • Understand what unconscious bias and diversity are and why they are important.

  • Describe the true meaning of ‘Inclusive Leadership’ and explain how this concept can bring significant benefit.

  • Examine ways to break down barriers to unconscious bias, diversity, prejudice, preconceptions and stereotypes.

Organisational Impact:

The organisation will experience positive impact through:

  • Adherence to achieve moral and honourable best practice in areas relating to diversity and intercultural sensitivity

  • Increased opportunity to leverage the talent and skills of all employees through the implantation of inclusive leadership in all business dealings

  • A more aligned workforce that is respectful of differences and others perspectives.

Personal Impact:

The individual will experience positive impact through:

  • Clarity around personal responsibility to creating a more ethically sound working environment

  • Awareness of leading edge world class organisations who have achieved ethical excellence

  • Authentic respect of others and ability to express the ethically correct position at all times.

Target Audience:

  • This programmed is aimed at people managers and leaders, particularly those who have a professional responsibility for ensuring corporate compliance to ethical policies and a desire to fully include and consider all matters of opinion and resource at their disposal.

  • The programme will be particularly useful to leaders in companies where there is an established code of conduct and authentic drive from the top to embrace a leadership culture that is both inclusive and effective.

Values to be covered:

  • Honesty: "honesty is the best policy"

  • Integrity at Work

  • Responsibility

  • Quality

  • Trust

  • Respect

  • Teamwork

  • Leadership

Programme Outline

Defining Inclusive Leadership & Establishing an Authentic All-Encompassing Environment for Success:

  • Inclusive Leadership. What is it and how do I embrace this concept?

  • Promoting equality, fairness and employee equity

  • Working towards collaboration

  • Reviewing the historical route of employment equity across various cultures, societies and countries

  • Identify and resolve situations through the power of clarifying shared values and common aims.

Embracing Diversity as a Core Component to Business Excellence:

  • Define diversity and its impact on the organisation

  • Understand the need for compliance with organisational policies and procedures to manage diversity

  • Understand the concept of accepting all forms of diversity and its relevance for the workplace

  • Identify and resolve situations where individuals may have different perceptions and apply different values

  • Explore the various ways in which organisations communicate and embed ethical values

Intercultural Sensitivity:

  • Defining Intercultural sensitivity and the richness of appreciating and celebrating difference

  • The 6 stage model defining intercultural sensitivity

  • The social, economic, political and environmental factors which shape our beliefs systems

  • Appreciating other cultures, delivering best practice business etiquette within multi-cultural groups

  • Develop and support organisational policies, procedures and working practices to manage diversity.


Timings: 9am to 5pm for the day

Number of participants: We can accommodate up to 10 participants during each programme

Cybèle team: 1 trainer for the day

Equipment needed: Training room large enough to house 10 people comfortably with space for smaller group work and room to move around. Also 2 x flipcharts & paper; projector and screen please.

Programme materials: Will be supplied by Cybèle including joining instructions for distribution in advance of the programme.

People ManagementRoss Taylor