Intentional Inclusion

Ruchika Tulshyan urges companies to do the hard work necessary to create meaningful change

By Rob Smith

71jtMCzNhFL-min
The MIT Press

August 25, 2022

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Ruchika Tulshyan moved to Seattle because her husband got a job at Amazon. Nine years later, he’s still there.

Tulshyan’s introduction to the city wasn’t quite as smooth. A former journalist, Tulshyan landed a job in the marketing department at a tech company. She describes it as a “tough” experience.

“The technology industry, especially nine or 10 years ago, was a tough time for women. Very toxic,” says Tulshyan, who notes that she was the only woman of color in the company. “So, I left and wrote a book about gender equity.”

That book, “The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace,” launched Tulshyan on an entirely different path. MIT Press just published her second book, “Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work,” focuses on the hard work that must go into creating a truly inclusive and equitable workforce.

In between those books, Tulshyan has built an impressive résumé. She serves as a contributing writer for “The New York Times” and “Harvard Business Review,” has been recognized in “Forbes,” is a distinguished professional-in-residence at Seattle University and was cochair of the Seattle Women’s Commission for three years. She also founded Candour, a global inclusion strategy firm that advises companies on all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Tulshyan says she “essentially” self-published her first book, which she describes as a small guidebook. She says “Inclusion on Purpose” is much more thorough. She adds that research shows that the first time most Americans meaningfully interact with a person of another race is in the workplace. She strongly believes that those experiences will create needed change in Seattle and across the country.

“It has to be done in schools, our neighborhoods and all of that,” she says. “And I think there’s a unique opportunity right now, especially in Seattle. The workplace has certainly led when we think about civil rights and protections and things like that. It doesn’t go as far as it should by any measure, but at least that’s where we started seeing the changes happening.”

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