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5 Examples of Simple Tweaks to Vision & Mission Statements to Promote Inclusion

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I think the best way to start looking at vision and mission statements through an inclusive lens is if I provide you with some examples and highlight where there could be unintended points of exclusion or opportunities to be more inclusive. But before I do, I need to be clear that I am not providing feedback on whether these visions and missions are good or bad statements. In fact, it's entirely possible that the organizations these statements belong to will have changed them by the time you're reading this.

Also, this is not a lesson on how to write a vision or mission statement. Instead, I am simply highlighting for you some ways to look for opportunities for greater inclusion with the hope of it driving a more inclusive organizational strategy and action.

Let's jump right in. 

Example #1:

"To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity."

~ Loreal

It is clear that this statement is purposefully aiming to include people from all over the world with respect for their diversity. However, by explicitly naming the genders they are providing their cosmetics for (as only men or women), they are not accounting for those that are non-binary or simply don't identify as one specific gender. By replacing 'women and men' with 'all people' eliminates a potential point of exclusion and maintains the organization's ability to resonate with more consumers. 

Example #2:

"To become the number 1 fashion destination for 20-somethings globally."

~ Asos

This statement defines a very narrow market by specifically identifying 20-somethings as their only consumer in this statement. It is certainly ok to have core consumer markets to which you seek to engage and provide services. However, narrowly defining this in the strategic vision or mission statement is likely to result in employees working with tunnel vision focus, preventing innovation into parallel or new markets. 

Example #3:

"To deliver information on the people, ideas and technologies changing the world to our community of affluent business decision makers."

~ Forbes

Affluent? Really? Obviously, if you aren't wealthy, with a great deal of money, you are not worthy of information on the people, ideas, and technologies changing the world. Do I need to say more? 

Example #4:

"Better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations."

~ Australia Department of Health

This is an interesting one and has come up quite often with organizations I have worked with. Referring to a nationality infers that you only serve those in that country who are recognized as citizens. In the case of this statement, the organization is only interested in supporting better health and wellbeing for Australians. Consequently, there is an obvious exclusion of interest in the health and wellbeing of immigrants, refugees, or permanent residents who are not yet classified as Australian citizens. 

Example #5:

"Helping people on their path to better health."


You're probably looking at this statement and thinking it's pretty good, and there is nothing wrong with it. You are correct that there are no points of exclusion in this statement. Still, you could potentially spark more innovation and inclusive ways of working by adding the word 'all' before 'people'; you are setting a strategic vision/mission that will drive strategic actions that consider all people's needs and wants. You might think this is semantics, but I promise you it's not. That said, however, if you think it's just semantics, you will agree there is no harm in adding the word 'all' in any way, right?! 


About the Author

Dr. Liz is the CEO and Co-founder of Include, a behavioral scientist and organizational transformation expert with a career focus on assisting businesses, teams, and individuals to be the best they can be. Now known as ‘The Inclusionist’, Dr. Liz is on a mission to create a world where everyone is included. Her innovative, yet pragmatic Include™ approach is creating a global movement of change through the organizations, governments, and institutions we all interact with daily.

Connect with Dr. Liz on LinkedIn


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