Laurie Swanson Blog

Lift As You Climb: The Real Inclusion Rider

I DID NOT notice her.

OK. That is not true.

I did notice her.

I just thought she wanted to sit on the swing by herself and read a book.

It was not until years later that I learned that she, in fact, wanted something totally different.

She wanted someone, anyone, to include her, but was too shy to ask.

She wanted to be invited to join us as we played tetherball, 4-square and Sky Blue on the stairs.

Instead, neither of us did anything and she sat alone.

“I will end with just two words…”

March 4th, was the 90th Academy Awards. Even though you may have not watched you probably have heard about Frances McDormand’s Best Actress acceptance speech-which should earn an Oscar all on its own.  (Video Below)

Frances gave a raucous speech asking for all women nominated to stand and be counted.  She encouraged the movie making companies to put their money where their mouth is and fund their projects.  She famously ended with “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”  Most people, including me, didn't know what she was talking about.

Lift As You Climb

What is an inclusion rider? Per an article from NPR an inclusion rider is  a stipulation that actors and actresses can ask (or demand) to have inserted into their contracts, which would require a certain level of diversity among a film's cast and crew.

The actors and actresses who are in a position of power have an opportunity, and I would suggest an obligation, to demand things that lift those with less power up.
This is also true in the business world. Leaders in businesses who are in a position to affect change have an opportunity, an obligation, to demand inclusion and equality in their organizations.

They have the power to influence the makeup of a project, what people earn, who gets promoted and more.
The young girl on the swing was looking for someone to extend their hand to her.

A simple act of including someone can be life changing. In fact, it can be world changing! 

I could have been that person.

I was 12, so I forgive myself.

But I am not 12 anymore.

I can lift people as I climb.

I can include others.

I can speak up.

I can empower others to speak up for themselves.

And so can you!  


Create and sign your own Inclusion Rider.  (You can download a copy too!)
If you want to work with a coach who is committed to lifting you up as you climb-look no further. I am that coach. Call me! 630/260-7821 or email me at

Share this Post: