Leaning into Diversity and Inclusiveness with Empathy

August 28, 2020



Leaning into Diversity and Inclusiveness with Empathy

Leaning into Diversity and Inclusiveness with Empathy

Karyn Twaronite, EY’s Global Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusiveness, explains the depth and breadth of diversity and how inclusiveness is at the core of a culture of belonging. She describes the importance of practicing empathy and being authentically and actively involved for nurturing these values. Karyn suggests what more we can all do to enable fully-supportive corporate environments.


[2:48] Diversity has many different dimensions and has evolved. How does Karyn define it at EY?

[4:04] Karyn describes the evolution of diversity with four Cs: Compliance, Character, Commerce, and Culture.

[05:12] How important authenticity is to avoid an ‘inclusion allusion’ and keep striving.

[06:36] A sense of belonging creates inclusiveness which comes from people having empathy for each other.

[07:16] Employees felt the most sense of belonging was when the people they worked with checked in with them one on one.

[08:40] Highly-effective team leaders are being asked to lead their team and their teams’ families.

[09:25] Empathy is a key ingredient with respect to checking in and feeling a sense of belonging.

[10:00] How to create a culture of belonging while maintaining uniqueness and not asking for conformity.

[11:17] How equitable sponsorship has been a transformational lever for EY to increase diversity.

[12:56] Women who are sponsored are more likely to stay longer, lean in to opportunities and return from maternity leave.

[13:41] How executives can be measured and rewarded for achieving inclusive leadership goals.

[14:39] Empathy relating to recent experiences and protests has moved people from passive disapproval to more active roles.

[15:53] Racism and discrimination exist everywhere. Understanding, compassion and empathy also exist everywhere and have ignited new conversations, creating a sense of urgency.

[16:36] A platform for social equity: What does your organization stand for and against?

[16:56] How can you be an active anti-racist? What does that mean for you and your situation?

[19:37] What leaders and senior executives can do to create a more inclusive corporate culture.

[20:39] Key DNI reasons for companies include creating a safer and more respectful work environment.

[21:21] Key inclusive leadership behaviors.

[21:30] Creating DNI as a business topic to track and share updates on progress.

[23:40] Why checking in on employees matters.

[24:08] Leaning into similarities AND differences.

[25:26] Anybody can take charge and become an inclusive leader.

[25:50] ‘Violent politeness’ and why the highest earning team member should offer their opinion last.

[28:04] How to stay proactive—consider who is sitting on the sidelines in your company or team?

[29:46] Immediate Action Tip: Expand your A team. You might be pleasantly surprised who’s sitting in the wings.


“If you aren’t really authentic in your effort to bring about a real inclusive culture, you can end up with something I call an inclusion illusion.”

“Employees felt a sense of belonging when the people that they worked with checked in with them one-on-one.”

“Empathy is a key ingredient and without it you’re really going to miss the bullseye.”

“A mentor stands beside you, but a sponsor is someone that stands in front of you and is very active.”

“Tone from the top is critical.”

“’You don’t have to be the most senior person on the team to be an inclusive leader.”

“Inclusion allows everyone on the field to play.”