Inclusive Culture

Inclusive Culture

Abundant research shows that diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams, from profitability and innovation, to resilience and ethical behavior. But efforts to increase diversity and representation often yield frustratingly low returns.

Academic research from neuroscience, behavioral science, and evolutionary biology is revolutionizing our understanding of the challenges inherent in forming and leading diverse teams…showing that much of what we’ve done in the past is ineffective or even harmful.

We believe that diversity isn’t a “box to check” or a one-time event.  It’s an underlying value that must be reinforced throughout all levels of your organization on an ongoing basis….and the skills and attitudes that allow diversity to flourish are precisely those that foster mature, sustainable business results.

Why Cascadance?

Longevity and subject matter expertise

  • In addition to over twenty years of experience in organization development and pioneer status in the world of neuroscience-based leadership, we have followed inclusion research extensively for over a decade, and were one of the first to work with the concept of implicit bias as it applies to organizations.
  • Janet’s first major conference talk on the subject was April 2009 for the International Association of Facilitators international conference, in Vancouver, Canada.

Flexible, adaptive and high-touch design with a results orientation

  • We don’t exclusively focus on unconscious bias.  We incorporate the latest thinking on a whole host of hidden neural factors underlying underrepresentation.
  • We don’t just educate. Our program designs emphasize ownership and iterative collaborative learning. 
  • Our material fosters functional and productive interpersonal behavior, regardless of the current diversity of your organization.

Track record of success

  • Janet Crawford has facilitated programs on inclusive culture for Fortune 100 movie studios and technology companies, and is sought-after speaker globally for industry conferences.
  • Her work has been credited by industry executives with providing the impetus for broad ranging change.

Non-blaming, inclusive and curiosity-inspiring approach

  • Discussions about diversity can produce strong feelings, from mild discomfort to fear and anger. We have the ability to lead direct, yet non-threatening, conversations about this potentially loaded topic, and to navigate group breakdowns with grace.
  • The focus on neuroscience makes the process an engaging source of personal discovery.
  • Our program makes the link between your company’s ability to maintain competitive advantage through forward-thinking innovative capacity and the ability to observe and address biases. 


Understand the hidden neural and cultural factors influencing successful diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts and leave with concrete ideas for integrating this content into your culture. 

You will gain insight into:

The importance of culture in building and leveraging diverse employee populations

  • How inclusion and belonging differ from diversity, and why both are important
  • How traditional D&I programs, particularly those that focus primarily on numbers, can backfire and lead to a decrease in representation and increase in cultural hostility
  • The subtle and unconscious messages your culture and messaging send about whether underrepresented minorities (URM’s) can be successful
  • The role of culture in leveraging the business benefits of a diverse employee base
  • The importance of diversifying D&I (bringing the dominant group(s) into the conversation)

The largely hidden phenomena at play in preventing forward movement

  • Unconscious bias
  • The social brain
  • Stereotype and identity threat
  • Unconscious power dynamics

Some of the more perplexing behaviors that may undercut traditional D&I efforts

  • Why some female leaders undercut other women
  • Why URM’s may distance themselves from D&I efforts
  • Why URM’s can fail to offer their viewpoint or “act” like the “dominant” group
  • Why URM’s often share their true thoughts about your culture only within their own group
  • Why dominant and underrepresented group members often remain oblivious to underrepresentation and the failure to treat members of other groups with equal respect.

How to integrate this content into your D&I efforts with concrete actions that can be taken at an individual, group and organization level.


Pulling from cutting edge academic research and over twenty years of in depth, large-scale client experience in the technology, biotechnology, venture capital and entertainment industries, we offer a customized approach to designing and fostering inclusive culture, including:

Inclusion Assessment

  • One to one interviews
  • Surveys
  • Story-telling sessions

Executive Learning and Strategic Advising

  • Offsites
  • One to one and small group coaching/advising/planning

Organizational Education

  • Keynotes
  • Trainings on the culture and hidden biology
  • Trainings on mature communication

Design Labs

  • Integrated sessions for teams from 20 to 200 learn and co-design your culture for inclusion

Reinforcement Programs

  • Regular reminders
  • External speakers
  • Curated content
  • Hosted conversations