I&D Business Champion Seminar Addresses Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Leadership

Participants from the Energy Workforce’s Inclusion & Diversity Business Champion Program joined a half-day virtual session last week to discuss topics around unconscious bias and the challenges around inclusive leadership.

This final session of the 2022 program began by reviewing the DE&I Strategy Playbook from the previous session and included participants sharing how they have been able to use it as a foundation to lead change within their organizations.

Participants were then introduced to two models that can be implemented into their cultures relative to I&D: The 4 Layers of Diversity and the Ladder of Inference. Breakout groups discussed ways to introduce these models as ways to challenge people’s thinking to have a more inclusive environment.

“Our group talked about the importance of having these tools at your fingertips in addition to several other tools that have been provided in this workshop. These materials can help you keep a good level of individual self-reflection and self-awareness which can ultimately be very useful when having difficult conversations or discussions with people who may be closed-minded.”

Program Participant

The final breakout gave the participants an opportunity to discuss what an inclusive leader looks like and identifying behaviors of that leader. Training, respect, consistency, demonstrating authenticity and ensuring everyone is heard were highlighted as key traits of inclusive leadership.

When asked about the challenges of inclusive leadership specifically relative to corporate versus field operations, one participant shared, “A big push for us has been around corporate and the field; corporate doesn’t speak field and field doesn’t speak corporate. Meshing or marrying the two, is really difficult because one communication channel cannot reach everyone. We have to recognize the difference in engaging and communicating across the two areas of operation.”

Participants of the program are scheduled to join an in-person graduation on January 18, 2023, hosted by the I&D Engagement Committee. Registration has begun for the 2023 Executive Leadership, Inclusive Leader Program, which begins in March.

If you are interested in sponsoring or attending any of the programs and have any questions, contact Vice President Programs & Events Peggy Helfert.


Peggy Helfert, Vice President Programs & Events, writes about the Energy Workforce’s sector-specific best practices and leadership. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.

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