Definition – Framing

This type of Inclusion Nudge is intended to make people perceive words and issues differently by altering the frame or anchor of the thought process. Terms like diversity, inclusion, gender and equality trigger some sensitivity for most people because they are associated with some kind of change, and the unconscious mind does not like the uncertainty that change brings. To avoid these automatic emotional reactions, we should aim to alter the connotations of such terms by designing Inclusion Nudges that prime positive – or at least neutral – associations. An effective approach is to alter certain factors, such as the order in which data is presented, the formulation of questions, the reporting of numbers and the setting of targets. For example, the focus can be shifted from minority to majority or from increasing diversity to reducing homogeneity.


The Inclusion Nudge: Alter the recruiting /workforce planning process by starting with the orientation that all roles may be worked flexibly. If not, then the manager needs to present the case why a role may not be worked flexibly.

Why It Works: This “Opt In/Opt Out” nudge aligns practice with an organization’s intentions of rolling out Flex Work and it ensures the option is not limited to only working mothers. Note that it does not require all roles to be worked flexibly, but the beginning point of the discussion is from a “yes” or “Opt In” position than a position of flex work being the exception. It addresses the bias that flex work is for “less committed employees” or only women by making it for all as the beginning perspective.

Sources: Sources: Alison Maitland “Future Work”; Nia Joynson-Romanzina Swiss RE; Ursula Wynhoven, UN WEP; and Lisa Kepinski, Inclusion Institute, shared in the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook, Tinna Nielsen & Lisa Kepinski, 2015.

The Inclusion Nudge: On gender diversity reports show both male & female data, with the majority figure listed first

Why It Works: By showing majority data first, it interrupts automatic thinking that “accepts” women with low %. It also enables the mind to focus on the majority dynamic in inclusion data and related actions. For example, it can be more jarring to the mind to see 90% male than 10% female, as often leaders are used to seeing such low percentages associated with women. By first seeing the majority, in this example 90% male, causes a pause to the automatic thinking and leaves open space for new questions to be framed.

Sources: Tinna Nielsen, Move the Elephant for Inclusiveness; Lisa Kepinski, Inclusion Institute; and Axel Jentsch, BASF, , shared in the Inclusion Nudges Guidebook, Tinna Nielsen & Lisa Kepinski, 2015.