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What is Inclusiveness?

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

This week I welcome a serial entrepreneur who is on a mission to ensure everyone feels heard with the emotional wellness app, HearMe, which got me thinking about inclusiveness.

What is inclusiveness, why is it important, and why should an entrepreneur care?

Inclusiveness is the quality of coverage of dealing with a range of subjects or areas

- or -

It is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or mental disability or belonging to other minority groups.

Let me give you an example of inclusiveness. When we were purchasing a home, we tried to be very mindful of the amount of stairs our house had because we have friends and family with disabilities that make climbing stairs difficult.

In fact, the first thing we did when we purchased a home was poured a concrete walkway from the front of the street to the front of our home for those in wheelchairs. The goal is to make the property inclusive to all.

Inclusiveness can also be defined in the workplace: a work environment that makes every employee feel valued while also acknowledging their differences and how these differences contribute to the organization's culture and business outcomes, according to SpiceWorks. But as a country, and as a globe, we struggle with social inclusiveness.

In the country I reside right now, The United States of America, some groups face barriers that prevent them from fully participating in economic and social life.

This is not only a direct result of discriminatory beliefs or perceptions, but it can also include land, labor market, and legal systems.

And these disadvantages often are based on gender, age, location, occupation, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship status, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), among other factors, per The World Bank.

Listen folks - I am an indigenous Mexican American. My family was here way before Columbus brought syphilis into this land, before folks remember losing the Alamo because Mexico didn’t want slaves in their country, hence the fight for Texas, yet I still feel discrimination to this day in various forms.

When a group feels excluded, or has the perception of feeling excluded, those groups may opt out of markets, services, and spaces, which ultimately costs individuals, entrepreneurs and the economy to suffer, and that is why an entrepreneur should care.

Afro-descendants continue to experience significantly higher levels of poverty (2.5 times higher in Latin America). Roughly 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school. In fact, roughly 70 counties, and at times including my own, continue to criminalize homosexuality. In America they are now trying to criminalize healthcare. Basic needs for women like abortions are being criminalized.

This month, I have officially worked in healthcare for over 23 years of my life. More than half of my living life has been dedicated to healthcare, an industry that must strive for inclusiveness. Our diverse staff helps our diverse patients from various backgrounds feel cared for and about: nurses, providers, and support staff.

I keep stating over-and-over on this podcast the importance of networking because of the amount we can learn from each other. We are global entrepreneurs. If our community isn’t doing well, our economy never will, and our communities are diverse not only in the business offerings, but the people and communities as well.

Excluding individuals from participating affects us all: health, social unrest, homelessness, inflation. We are all interconnected.

Instead of using others as a stepping stool to climb the corporate ladder, reach down and help each other up because eventually a foot will slip. And when our feet fail us, it will be the ones we reach down to help up that are reaching out to help us from falling.

I want to ensure I state this very clearly: you all belong here, you are someone important, and you will one day change the world. I truly believe that.

As statistics and studies have proven, when we are all included, we all win.

To learn more visit Atomic Wings, Cuddlist, and HearMe

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