Change Management Leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)


"Who we are born as is an accident of time and we are all different, but the important elements of our journey in life are diversity, equity, and inclusiveness"

John Hume, winner of the Noble Peace prize said, “Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” While John was speaking during a time of deep civil trouble, he recognised the importance of people’s differences. Without diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, there may not be a sense of belonging, work life can be very challenging and lead to stress, dissonance, and higher staff attrition rates.

  • Diversity: The range of people in your workforce, it refers to anything that sets one individual apart from another. This means having employees with different nationalities, cultures, socioeconomic status, ages, religions, sex and sexual orientation, political perspective, people with disabilities, etc.

  • Equity: Providing support based on an employee’s specific needs, promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness, as well as reducing disparity.

  • Inclusion: An inclusive workplace means that employees feel valued at work, they can participate and contribute value. An inclusive work environment should lower the risk of negative behaviour, bullying, harassment and discrimination. More importantly, individuals or groups do not feel excluded based on their identity and will be given the same resources or opportunities.

As leaders of change we must put people first and our objective is to provide employees with a positive change transition experience. Not only does a DEI organisation drive better business results, but they are also more innovative. They help attract better and more talented employees, improving brand reputation. A DEI environment can be a great foundation for successful change implementation.

  • Diversity Helps Change: Diverse views, perspectives, open and honest discussion, where everyone can contribute, leads to better change solutions and acceptance.

  • Equity Helps Change: Shaping and implementing a change that has equity considerations, that does not disadvantage any individual or group, will make it more palatable to the employees.

  • Inclusion Helps Change: Employees will feel engaged and more willing to become involved in the change design and implementation. They will feel that they are able to ask questions that might otherwise develop as resistance, questions that provide invaluable feedback and even improve the change approach.

Creating and ensuring there is a DEI working environment will become something organisations and leaders cannot ignore. Millennials, and those that were part of the great resignation, want purpose and will demand it. A DEI work environment is a lever to enable successful change management, with less time wasted on resistance, fewer cases of employee stress or associated mental health problems, higher adoption rates, high investment returns and the improvement of change and transformation success statistics.

Enabling Change Management

Organisations and leaders who believe in DEI will be focused on ensuring the employee’s change transition experience is positive and enhanced as much as possible. Change Management Leadership’s first responsibility is to ‘Articulatethe Change Vision’. The leadership who should develop a compelling change vision that inspires employees with purpose and is aligned to the organisation’s strategy, values and beliefs. Now more than ever that vision needs to inspire the employee with purpose, because we now live in a world where what an organisation is, what it does and how much money it makes is under significant scrutiny, especially on social media. Millennials, if not already, will make up the majority of the workforce and they advocate that the primary purpose of organisations should be to improve society instead of generating profit. Their attitude to work is also changing. It is moving from “I work to buy stuff that makes me happy” to “I work to make me happy”. They are attracted to working for purpose-led organisations and the change that organisation wants to implement. This is where the working talent will be in the future. The great resignation that occurred during the covid pandemic has amplified how people think about work. The pandemic gave employees time and space to reflect on both their personal and professional lives While there are many reasons employees looked for a new job the recurring themes were work life balance, high levels of innovation, wanting to work from home, not being recognised, a toxic work culture, better options elsewhere.

"Diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DE&I) is a human right. It should not exclude any group or individual and it should definitely not be used as a weapon to promote the objectives of any party that could be perceived as counterproductive”

This blog is based on my book: Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 6

Blog Source: Change Management Leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) (

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®For further reading please visit our websites: Peter F Gallagher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge Volumes: Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D & E available on both Amazon and Google Play:

Leadership of Change® Volume 1 - Change Management Fables

Leadership of Change® Volume 2 - Change Management Pocket Guide

Leadership of Change® Volume 3 - Change Management Handbook

Leadership of Change® Volume 4 - Change Management Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume 5 - Change Management Adoption

Leadership of Change® Volume 6 - Change Management Behaviour

Leadership of Change® Volume 7 - Change Management Sponsorship

Leadership of Change® Volume A - Change Management Gamification - Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume B - Change Management Gamification - Adoption

Coming soon:

Leadership of Change® Volume C - Change Management Gamification - Behaviour

~ Leadership of Change® Volume D - Change Management Gamification - Sponsorship

~ Leadership of Change® Volume E - Change Management Gamification - Leadership Teams

By Peter F Gallagher

Keywords: Leadership, Change Management, Business Strategy

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