Featured book: Inclusion on Purpose

Ruchika Tulshyan creates a blueprint for 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 we don’t realize that inclusion takes awareness, intention, and regular practice, explains Ruchika Tulshyan in her eye-opening new book Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work. Inclusion doesn’t just happen; we have to work at it. “How can we make meaningful progress to undo systems of harm?” Tulshyan asks. “The answer is active, deliberate action—inclusion on purpose.”

“I am convinced that inclusion is the most important leadership trait today,” she continues. “If we define leadership as the ability to influence and inspire others to action, we’ll notice that for far too long, we have lauded white male leaders for grooming, inspiring, and propelling the next generation of leaders like them. We need to change this paradigm urgently so that everyone with ambition, skill, and potential can succeed.”

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. 

“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,” said Reema Batnagar, VP of People at Pixar Animation Studios. “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.”

Tulshyan presents inclusion best practices, showing how leaders and organizations can meaningfully promote inclusion and diversity. She 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.

“Inclusion doesn’t have to be expensive or take up too much time. You just need to be willing to do the work,” Tulshyan argues. “With practice, it can become a way of life.”

Inclusion on Purpose in the media:

Learn more about Inclusion on Purpose