Creating a Culture of Inclusion Through Diversity and Equity

  • Lize A. E. BooysenEmail author
  • Priscilla Gill


This chapter focuses on the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) as critical workforce and leadership issues in health care. It highlights the business case for EDI, and shows how inclusivity leads to employee engagement that directly impacts services and outcomes. Inclusive leadership is offered as the best practice in optimizing diversity and creating cultures of inclusion where all people are valued equally with proportional representation and equitable inclusion. Four inclusive leadership competencies are singled out to be of particular importance in the health care context, namely: (1) engagement through relational practice, (2) enablement by creating environments for others to flourish, (3) empowerment by building confidence and communities, and (4) recognizing and developing talent. This chapter also features examples of everyday workplace triggering events that make inequity or discrimination noticeable, that might spark diversity-based conflict, and poses corrective boundary spanning organizational strategies to deal with these conflicts. The section on managing inequities and insensitivities focuses on practical applications dealing with LGBTQi issues and sexual harassment in the workplace and concludes with a case study of action taken by an exemplary health care institution in an effort to raise awareness about unconscious bias in light of the #MeToo movement. Lastly, this chapter identifies pearls and pitfalls in leading EDI and concludes with a clear message: The absence of effective EDI practices comes at a significant cost. Courageous and bold inclusive leadership action is needed to develop and sustain a strong EDI culture in the health care industry.


Diversity in health care settings  Equity in health care settings  Inclusion in health care settings  Harassment in health care settings  Relational leadership  Health care diversity and inclusion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Leadership and ChangeAntioch UniversityOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.University of Stellenbosch Business SchoolCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Workforce Learning, Department of Human ResourcesMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA

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