Sustaining Inclusive Work Environments

Tuesday 27th April 2021

Creating an inclusive work environment is not a one-time effort. It takes constant reinforcement and adaptation, since even well-known forms of exclusion can crop up in unexpected ways. For instance, workplace harassment can still occur when employees are working from home. Almost half of women who report being sexually harassed by coworkers now say it is taking place remotely, according to a 2021 UK study commissioned by The Independent.

Another unexpected obstacle on the road toward inclusivity is an unintended consequence of the #MeToo movement. In an HBS study, 27 percent of men surveyed said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues following the rise of #MeToo.

Insights like these serve as a reminder that we cannot be complacent when it comes to sustaining work environments where female employees can thrive. That’s why we discussed them in our latest Working Group session on D&I Strategies for the Future of Work, which you can view on this link.

We were joined by three excellent leads from BRAC Bank, who shared how far one organization can progress on these issues with bold and comprehensive action—and how doing so can open the door for an external women-centered strategy (something we also wrote about in the BRAC Bank case study published last year).

Next session, on May 19th, we’ll focus on another key pillar to fostering inclusive cultures: building an employee value proposition for women, the subject of an extensive chapter in our “How-To Guide: Becoming the Employer of Choice for Women”.) And we’ll be talking through the current issues as the pandemic rolls on, including work-from-home productivity burnout, mental health and wellness, and shifting the balance of care responsibilities. To join us, simply email