Empowering Corporate Culture Through Inclusion  

21 September 2022 by Sharon Claffey Kaliouby

On August 18th – a year to the day from our 2021 Learning Pool Drinks Reception/Meet Up – we were thrilled to host Learning Pool’s first Hybrid Event of 2022. 

With over 50 registrants from around the world, including IBM, Learnovate, Anchored Training, Good Energy, and State Street, we raised a glass on the envoy rooftop to our hybrid discussion. 

During the event, we shared thoughts, best practices, and insights as we celebrated women in learning, the value of 30 under 30 cohorts, women leaders, and the growing need to value and support the over 30 employees. 

Supporting managers to deliver DE&I results

As data proves, companies with greater diversity outperform their more homogeneous counterparts. It’s important for leaders to set the tone regarding DE&I (EDI), support managers to deliver DE&I results, and provide L&D programs fostering inclusion and encouraging more diversity in the workplace.  We discussed key areas to do so, including:

  • Stop using ‘labels’ as distractors/deflectors
  • Enough with the statistics- “walk the talk”!
  • Address distinct challenges head-on
  • Foster a culture that supports and values ethnic minority women
  • Managers play a critical role—and they need more direction and support
  • Address racial violence in the news, and at work
  • Ask ‘what’s missing?’

Empowering Inclusive cultures

In regard to empowering inclusive cultures, we discussed various ways to create learning solutions that engage with various generations. TikTok, a Gen- Z favorite, was brought up here. A discussion on designing e-learning more like “TikTok” created a lot of “safe” friction. It was exciting to see and hear the passion and emotion of instructional design come up in this event. 

Learning by TikTok design could be an engaging and inclusive (generationally) way for teams to interact with each other.  It was noted and agreed upon – the Tik Tok design would not work well for all learning solutions. As participants discussed “…bite-size design can be great for raising awareness…” and “… it’s important not to look at any one type of learning experience in isolation, but rather as part of the whole…

30 over 30 cohort

We also discussed the value of appreciating “seasoned professionals” and asked the question what do you think of a “30 OVER 30” cohort being recognized in the industry? During the event, many valued it and would like to see it at future conferences and in the industry as a whole.  The topic of reverse mentoring came up and it’s meaning to some of the “30 under 30’” via spotlighting the next generation of learning leadership in our field. 

The importance of Inclusion in your organization

Inclusion across all areas of business is imperative and something every Corporate Culture must include…if not – watch out!  A 2020 Catalyst report looking at Gen Z and the future of work found two-thirds of Gen Z-ers rated equal opportunities for pay and promotion and learning opportunities as the top two factors that build trust with an employer. 

Interestingly, diversity of educational background was the area Gen Z felt employers needed to work on most, ahead of age, ethnicity and gender, once again demonstrating the importance of diversity of thought. This is a generation that does not speak with its mouth but with its “feet”. If there is no equitable Corporate Culture – then Gen Zs will walk -they will leave!

Those who registered received access to the award-winning “Uncomfortable Truth in Racial Equality” modules and the recent Raconteur publication – Empowering corporate culture change through diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Want to join the discussion?

Catch Sharon Claffey Kaliouby at an event! Sharon will be in London at Learning Pool Live 2022 , where you can join her for two bonus sessions. If you can’t make it, Sharon will also be at Learning 2022 to discuss Empowering Corporate Culture through Inclusion.

Women in Learning – Empowering women leaders

We need everyone’s voice to discuss the topic of Women in Learning and here’s why: Research states, that women are 2–3 times less likely as men to have leadership positions in Learning & Development. Studies report that firms with greater gender diversity among senior positions perform better. Thus, supporting women in senior learning leadership roles is not the “nice thing” but the PROFITABLE thing to do. The lack of C-suite women in L&D affects every business’s bottom line.

During this open and raw dialogue, our panel of female learning executives will share what it means to be a “Woman in Learning” & for some, a “Trailblazer”.  We will also discuss topics to support women in leadership roles in L&D, including:

  • Support women from ethnic minorities in L&D (we need to stop simply listing the statistics and ‘walk the talk’)
  • Identify and promote the female “Trailblazers” in Learning
  • Support women in leadership roles in L&D
  • Leverage remote work as an opportunity to expand our female senior talent pool
  • Create an allyship with men

Empowering Corporate Culture through Inclusion

This session will celebrate women in learning, the value of 30 under 30 cohorts, the importance of empowering women leaders, gender equality and the growing need to value and support the ‘seasoned’ (over 30) employee. We’ll also discuss conscious and unconscious bias and how to help create a more inclusive culture in organizations.

Data proves companies with greater diversity outperform their more homogeneous counterparts. It’s important for leaders to set the tone regarding DE&I (EDI) and to provide L&D programs fostering inclusion and encouraging more diversity in the workplace.

In this session, we will explore, and ask to hear from representatives to discuss the value of:

  • Bringing your authentic self to work
  • Spotlighting the next generation of learning leadership in our field; i.e. the 30 under 30
  • Appreciating the OVER 30 workforce – should there be a ’30 over 30′ group
  • Empowering women in learning
  • Supporting managers to deliver DE&I results
  • Inclusion across all areas of business


Sharon Claffey Kaliouby
VP Strategic Alliances

Sharon Claffey Kaliouby is VP, Strategic Alliances for Learning Pool. She was most recently a Learning Fellow & Advisor for Elliott Masie Productions and previously Head of Global Learning & Development for State Street Global Advisors in Boston, Massachusetts.

As well as working with Learning Pool, Sharon is co-founder of the #WomenInLearning initiative, one of the 2019 Top 50 Leaders in Learning & Development – Americas, the 2018 Learning & Performance Institute Professional of the Year and a two-time member of the USFA National gold medal women’s sabre fencing team.

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