How to Drive Gender Diversity

Updated: Sep 13

Gender diversity is a key driver for success. It adds value to operational, environmental and the managerial, critical thinking elements of business operations.

Lack of diversity impacts growth across every sector. The more of it you have, the better your decision making processes, the more motivated your employees and the more innovative your products and services.

However, there are challenges to developing a diverse working environment and there remain issues with the level of commitment to diversity shown across many companies, across industries.

Recently, the Hampton Alexander review ‘Improving gender balance in FTSE 100 leadership’ found that although the number of women on FTSE 100 boards had exceeded 30% for the first time, an issue has been identified amongst some boards.

It is time to call out the 75 at 'One & Done' boards that are dragging overall progress downwards. The 33% target is a collective effort and it is incumbent on every FTSE 350 listed company to play their part - get with the new norm - today one woman at the table, is little different to none!

-Hampton Alexander Review

The phenomenon of ‘one and done’ relates to boards that recruit one, in this case, woman, to the numbers and then believe that their work is finished.

What does it mean to have one person of colour, a woman or someone from an LGBT or disabled background, if they are not allowed to shape the direction of the company, its people or its products and services?

Promote Genuine Gender Inclusion.

Flexibility, trust and transparency, and the ability for organisations to take calculated risks in developing strategy to develop services and well as human capital is paramount.

Continued failure to embed diversity in a meaningful way will have negative impacts on the future growth and development of British industry.

The current social, political, and business landscape is characterised by uncertainty. What then does this mean for diversity and inclusivity within organisations?

The promotion of genuine inclusion, rather than a 'one and done' philosophy, is the only way to develop diversity and inclusive processes that truly deliver results.

Gender diversity enhances key decision making

Conscious leadership creates brands that are cognisant of the business benefits of diversity and inclusion.

It encourages inclusion through a genuine commitment to realise the business benefits of diversity through well developed strategies to promote gender diversity and inclusion.

The power of perspective is underpinned by diversity. It does not develop through homogeneous leadership, or within the walls of a leadership bound through cultural, educational or social similarities.

The authority of an innovative, forward thinking perspective is unleashed through openness, trust and transparency created by diversity within leadership.

The ambition to achieve best in class results, through creativity is developed through diversity of thought.

In short, different mindsets and experiences, come together to create excellence.

Removing gaps to access

Eliminating the gaps to access, and the barriers to promotion and acceptance is the first step to achieving inclusive processes. Plain and simple. There remain too many barriers to access for women and other under-represented employees at senior levels.

BAME employees suffer from gaps in access to opportunities

Fair and equitable access promotion and learning and development opportunities, is a fundamental part of inclusion.

Taking account of experiences and circumstances, that affect women and diverse groups must be taken into account in all decision making processes.

Unconscious bias within selection processes must be removed and systems institutionalised to enhance the development and progress of excellent careers.

Women and Black and minority employees suffer from the effects of gaps in access and opportunities to rise to the highest levels within corporations.

Employees are exceptional when they are allowed to transfer their diversity into their working roles.

The richness of human diversity, is one of the most important aspects that an organisation has at its behest, so why do so many fail to understand this, and use it?

Boards should value the richness of gender, culture, life experiences and the sense of belonging, that is realised in a diverse leadership environment.

Leadership must own a genuine commitment to diversity

Leadership must own a genuine commitment to diversity and work to creating a genuine company culture of gender diversity and inclusion.

Corporations must create avenues for people, who are different, but share the values of hard work and resilience.