Category: Business, Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Publication date: March 5, 2024

Beyond Discomfort

Why inclusive leadership is so hard (and what you can do about it)

Nadia Nagamootoo


Talk to anyone about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and it sparks a whole range of emotions. Why? Because DEI, at its very core, is about values and beliefs, and it’s about change. So it is no surprise then, that despite putting in place a DEI strategy and multiple initiatives, so many organizations get stuck.

Beyond Discomfort reveals a new model with four leadership belief systems and associated emotional responses to DEI.


  • Real life stories to help deepen your understanding of why leaders find DEI so hard
  • Self-insight from the accompanying diagnostic tool to help you assess and better connect with your current leadership perspective
  • Practical tools and activities to help expand your thinking, with specific actions to be more inclusive

Nadia Nagamootoo is a Chartered Psychologist, accredited coach, MBA and Founder of Avenir, a DEI consultancy. Through her multiple keynotes and popular podcast show, Why Care?, Nadia has become a profound thought leader in DEI, guiding organizations on an accelerated path to creating inclusion and belonging.


Foreword by Bonnie St. John



Is it really the case?

Why now?

This just feels uncomfortable

A new model of inclusive leadership: Beyond Discomfort

But before we begin….

Chapter 1 – What are we talking about?

Everyday exclusion

Fear and vulnerability

Values – Emotion – Behaviour – Outcome

The four modes of operating

Chapter 2 – Disconcerted

Meritocracy……or mirrortocracy

It isn’t fair

The dirty word

Fear of Acknowledging Privilege

Fear of Change

Nudge – Timely

Expanding this mode

Chapter 3 – Proof-seeking

The leadership archetype

What do you want me to do exactly?

Fear of the Unknown

Nudge – Social Influences

Expanding this mode

Chapter 4 – Back-slapping

Treat people how they want to be treated

Equality versus equity

I do what I can

Fear of Complexity

Nudge – Attractive

Expanding this mode

Chapter 5 – Beyond Discomfort

This has blown my mind

Now what do I do?

Fear of saying the wrong thing

Nudge – Easy

Discomfort as a general state of being

Reinforcing this mode

Chapter 6 –Your Organization Beyond Discomfort

New conversations

Challenging not confrontational

Deep resilience




About the Author

About Avenir Consulting



Paperback / 9781788604390 / March 5, 2024 / £14.99

Ebook / 9781788604413 / March 4, 2024 / £7.99


Nadia Nagamootoo

Nadia Nagamootoo is the founder and CEO of Avenir, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultancy. She is a Chartered Psychologist, MBA and accredited coach with over 20 years’ experience in the field of leadership, organizational development and culture change.

At Avenir, Nadia works with global leaders, coaching and facilitating discussions to open up safe and powerful inclusive conversations. She guides clients through a process of identifying the gaps in their inclusion culture, developing their DEI strategy, to implementing powerful change through Avenir’s Inclusive Leadership Programme and all-staff education and engagement.

Nadia is an active voice in the area of DEI. She is regularly writes articles on a range of subjects – on her own platform as well as popular membership sites such as HR Zone and The RSA – and has published reports to contribute knowledge in the field. She has a significant LinkedIn following and an engaged community.

A prolific and highly sought-after keynote speaker on the subject of inclusive leadership, privilege, bias and equity, she delivered a notable presentation at the Icon Global Inclusion conference in 2022, discussing the barriers to inclusive leadership.

Nadia is host of the popular podcast show ‘Why Care?’, where she discusses all things DEI with those leading the way in the field. Guests include top names, such as Bonnie St John (Paralympian, White House official, TedX speaker and author), Eric Pliner (CEO of YSC and author of Difficult Decisions), and Kristen Anderson (Vice Chair of European Women on Boards).