Inclusion on Purpose
An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work
- A Next Big Idea Club nominee
How organizations can foster diversity, equity, and inclusion: taking action to address and prevent workplace bias while centering women of color.
Few would disagree that inclusion is both the right thing to do and good for business. Then why are we so terrible at it? If we believe in the morality and the profitability of including people of diverse and underestimated backgrounds in the workplace, why don't we do it? Because, explains Ruchika Tulshyan in this eye-opening book, we don't realize that inclusion takes awareness, intention, and regular practice. Inclusion doesn't just happen; we have to work at it. Tulshyan presents inclusion best practices, showing how leaders and organizations can meaningfully promote inclusion and diversity.
Tulshyan centers the workplace experience of women of color, who are subject to both gender and racial bias. It is at the intersection of gender and race, she shows, that we discover the kind of inclusion policies that benefit all. Tulshyan debunks the idea of the “level playing field” and explains how leaders and organizations can use their privilege for good by identifying and exposing bias, knowing that they typically have less to lose in speaking up than a woman of color does. She explains why “leaning in” doesn't work—and dismantling structural bias does; warns against hiring for “culture fit,” arguing for “culture add” instead; and emphasizes the importance of psychological safety in the workplace—you need to know that your organization has your back. With this important book, Tulshyan shows us how we can make progress toward inclusion and diversity—and we must start now.
“As a woman of color and an executive, I know firsthand how important it is for companies to create opportunities for women of color to lead. Inclusion on Purpose shows how to build an inclusive workplace and culture through storytelling and practical frameworks. Whether you are a manager or you want to become one, this book is essential reading!”
Reema Batnagar, VP People, Pixar Animation Studios
“If you don't purposefully design management systems for justice, you're going to create systemic injustice in your organization. Ruchika Tulshyan shows how to design more just systems—and, crucially, how to become the inclusive leader and colleague you want to be.”
Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor and Just Work
“Tulshyan masterfully unmasks the context, cultures, and challenges that women of color uniquely face. She also provides smart frameworks to significantly transform their workplace experiences. A must-read for everyone seeking to practice inclusion!”
Dr. Tsedal Neeley, Professor, Harvard Business School; author of Remote Work Revolution
“Ruchika Tulshyan is an inspiring inclusion luminary of this generation. She sheds light on the intersectional experiences and critical needs of women of color and shows why belonging is an essential cultural metric for them to thrive at work. Inclusion on Purpose is imperative for change leaders in organizations who want to mitigate workplace bias, stereotypes, and microaggressions with actions that address systemic barriers and help foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.”
Dr. Cindy Pace, Vice President and Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, MetLife
“Urgent and practical, this no-nonsense book explains the lived experiences of women of color in the workplace and why true inclusion at work is non-negotiable for any organization that wants to succeed in a multicultural world. Ruchika Tulshyan tells it like it is—and as it must be. Ignore at your peril.”
Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer, founders, Thinkers50
“Ruchika Tulshyan is on a mission to fix our broken workplaces by tearing down barriers. Her solution is inclusion on purpose and with empathy, and she walks through the steps to get there. Her frameworks and questions, real-world stories and data, and intersectional lens make this book a must-read for leaders and learners.”
Ellen Pao, CEO, Project Include; author of Reset
"By centering women of color, workplaces can begin to tangibly accomplish meaningful inclusion for all. Luckily for us, Tulshyan has written this guidebook to help us get started. "
"Inclusion, diversity, and representation in the workplace have been hotly discussed topics over the past two years, which, to start, is long overdue. That said, it isn't enough just to talk about these issues—they require active and persistent work to make any kind of lasting, positive change. Ruchika Tulshyan, CEO of consulting firm Candour, debunks a number of recent workplace self-help theories (like “leaning in” or establishing a “level playing field” or hiring someone because they fit within the preexisting office culture), while offering a guide to dismantling workplace bias, with a focus on the experience of women of color, who are subject to both gender and racial biases."
"In Inclusion on Purpose, the DEI consultant Ruchika Tulshyan notes that real progress requires not just empathy but proactive, ongoing effort. She offers six strategies for turning empathy into action—be uncomfortable, reflect on what you don't know, invite feedback, limit defensiveness, grow from your mistakes, and expect change to take time—and encourages readers to examine how policies or assumptions that seem “normal” can cause unintended harm. For example, she describes a workplace where social events always included alcohol, thus excluding employees whose religion, culture, or health kept them from drinking. Tulshyan recommends acknowledging such mistakes, identifying the biases that may have driven them, and working to do better."
Harvard Business Review
"Tulshyan explores how leaders and organizations can meaningfully foster diversity, equity and inclusion by taking action to address and prevent workplace bias, while centering on the workplace experience of women of color, who are subject to both gender and racial bias."
“With this important book, Tulshyan shows us how we can make progress toward inclusion and diversity—and we must start now.”