INCLUSIVE 360 | Kirkus Reviews

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A comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion for organizations.

The importance of DEI affects businesses large and small, and Smith, who owns a DEI consulting firm, recognizes that larger, more progressive establishments may already be advancing initiatives in these areas. As a result, her book specifically targets “organizations beginning their diversity, equity, and inclusion journeys.” She straightforwardly asserts that such initiatives must necessarily touch all constituents of an organization, both internal and external—a notion she characterizes as “360-degree” coverage. The book is appropriately divided into three parts (“Diversity,” “Equity,” and “Inclusion”) that define each concept and provide “Action Steps” toward achieving it as well as resources for further reading. The book also includes a brief epilogue that ties the other three parts together by addressing what Smith calls “the holy grail of the workplace: Belonging”; the author notes that “when an employee feels like they belong in their organization, they’re going to do their best work.” Smith begins the book by making an excellent business case for DEI, enumerating “strong selling points” supported by several research studies demonstrating tangible benefits. She then introduces a problem-solving methodology called “ARC” (“Ask,” “Respect,” “Connect”) and shows multiple illustrations of how it may be applied to DEI goals. Each of the three main sections is rich with detail, examples, and suggestions. While discussing diversity, for example, Smith covers such topics as unconscious bias, setting diversity targets, and hiring with diversity in mind. The author’s discussion of racial inequities is particularly compelling, and she also delves into equitable pay and procurement. Regarding inclusion, Smith offers examples of “Business Resource Groups,” explains how inclusive conversations work, examines the concept of “psychological safety,” and offers an enlightened perspective on employee benefits. Throughout, Smith effectively takes a broad view of her subject, citing DEI examples that include race, gender, LGBTQ+, and disability issues. Overall, the book’s illuminating message is honest, forthright, and timely.

An aspirational and well-grounded management guide.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73763-540-6

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Goodnow Flow Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021



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