Women and Global Development Forum Roundtable on Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture

November 5, 2018

By: Katelyn Jones, ACLS/Mellon Public Fellow, Women, Peace, and Security

Gender equality is no longer peripheral, but integral, to corporate social responsibility at the world’s leading organizations. And as people increasingly realize the need to advocate for, and be inclusive of, marginalized populations more broadly, diversity and inclusion have become common buzzwords motivating new programs and policies. There is compelling evidence that diversity and inclusion (D&I) help generate “better strategy, better risk management, better debates, [and] better outcomes.”[1] As a result, schools, corporations, and intergovernmental organizations alike have created programs and policies under the banner of diversity and inclusion, but progress is slow and these programs often fail.[2]

Despite increased attention to D&I programs, what diversity and inclusion mean, as well as what metrics best evaluate the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion policies, often remain unclear. This makes it difficult to create and implement transformative policies. It also makes it challenging to translate goals across local and global levels at a time when stakeholders are concerned more than ever before with supporting women, LGBTQIA* people, people of color, and other marginalized populations. Organizations need specific concepts and strategies to successfully foster diverse and inclusive spaces that nurture innovative thinking, technology, and policies.

Recognizing the critical importance of addressing D&I across sectors, a group of leaders—including lawyers, corporate executives, editors, engineers, members of the military, and development experts—gathered in a private roundtable at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ 2018 Global Health and Development Symposium. The workshop summary includes a summary of the roundtable’s guiding questions, key discussion points, conclusions, and participants’ forward-looking recommendations.


[1]The diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths,” Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, Deloitte Review, Issue 22, 22 January 2018.

[2]What 11 CEOs Have Learned about Championing Diversity,” Stefanie K. Johnson, Harvard Business Review, 29 August 2017.

Women and Global Development Forum Roundtable on Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture

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