To read this content please select one of the options below:

Diversity & Inclusion and innovation: a virtuous cycle

Rebekah Steele (Rebekah Steele | Diversity Breakthroughs, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)
Marjorie Derven (Hudson Research & Consulting, Inc.; New York; New York; USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to clarify the reciprocal relationship between Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and innovation to demonstrate how each may be effectively leveraged for the benefit of the other to help businesses grow. The paper aims to expand the discussion around the relationship between D&I and innovation by exploring not only how D&I can be leveraged for better outcomes in innovation, but also how innovation can be leveraged for better outcomes in D&I.


This paper explores insights from researchers and practitioners, case examples, and the authors’ professional experiences, opinions and interpretations.


Set in the context of current challenges facing business leaders, the paper provides insights, recommendations and case examples about how D&I can be leveraged to bring about innovative products, services and business solutions. It also discusses factors limiting success in the field of D&I calling for innovative approaches that can deliver better outcomes. A set of recommendations and case examples of next generation D&I practices is followed by an example methodology demonstrating value in fostering innovative D&I strategies and results.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers and practitioners are encouraged to explore and test the proposals further.

Practical implications

The paper suggests opportunities for the development of more effective approaches to leveraging D&I for innovation, and leveraging innovation for D&I to help businesses succeed.


This paper highlights a novel opportunity to examine the reciprocity in the interplay between innovation and D&I and broaden the typically unilateral view of this relationship.



Steele, R. and Derven, M. (2015), "Diversity & Inclusion and innovation: a virtuous cycle", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 1-7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles