Creating a More Inclusive Culture with Leaders First

DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) & Performance Management & People Analytics


The Challenge

A legacy ad-tech agency needed to conduct work differently. In a non-inclusive leadership culture, it can be difficult to attract and retain a diverse workforce. With creative talent as their greatest asset, this limited the organization's ability to bring in different perspectives, experiences, and ideas that can lead to innovation and growth.


The objective was to integrate an inclusive leadership culture within the performance management process. The goal was to move the needle over time to ensure that biases were not observed in successor data, performance data, or new hire data.


For the D&I objectives, the Director of Diversity & Inclusion partnered heavily to review gender data by location, division, and department. Training for performance management included a few additional items, such as helping people set clear goals to base performance on facts rather than opinion, leveraging multiple feedback sources to limit bias, reminding people to use inclusive language (not mentioning age, race, gender), and reinforcing inclusive behavior, especially in leadership, such as collecting feedback from at least one female co-worker in a 360.

Results & Impact

The initiative was rolled out recently, and positive feedback was received on the new initiatives. Managers reported having "more clarity and confidence on how to respond to sensitive questions and comments" during their one-on-one meetings. Employee feedback included, "I feel much more comfortable turning to my manager when there’s an issue, or even for her support in my performance. I feel seen." The integration of inclusive leadership culture within the performance management process had a positive impact on the employees and managers, fostering a more inclusive and supportive workplace.


Ad Tech

Locations Impacted

Americas China India United Kingdom




DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) & Performance Management & People Analytics


San Francisco


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