Diversity, equity, and inclusion is being embraced by more and more organisations. And that’s a truly fantastic thing. It’s a step in the right direction, and a huge stride towards sparking real, lasting change across many industries. But there’s still a problem: diversity efforts often aren’t getting as far as the leadership teams.
Research by Gartner shows that, while there has been a huge uptick in recent years in diversity amongst entry level employees, there still remains a significant lack of underrepresented talent in leadership positions. This is especially true for female talent, with women in leadership roles still somewhat of an anomaly in many sectors.
It’s time to move the dial. And together, we can.
The Importance of Diverse Leadership Teams
Helen Hai, Executive VP of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, spoke at the Women In Tech Global Conference 2022. She explained to attendees that diversity in leadership was important to the organisation because ‘we want technology to work for all people, and in order to do that, it needs representation from all people’.
While this statement was tech-focused, it’s easy to see how it can be extended to practically any industry. Whatever we create, the more angles and perspectives are built into the very core of the product, the more value it can bring to more people.
And this is something that is being seen not only conceptually, but in real life scenarios. Research continually demonstrates that diverse leadership teams drive more innovative ideas. And a study by McKinsey reported that companies with more diverse leadership teams are more likely to see above average profits, too.
However, it’s not just about innovation and profitability. There is one overarching reason why diversity in leadership is so important: it’s a chance to shape the future.
With a more diverse leadership team, businesses can help ambitious young women – our potential leaders of tomorrow – see people like themselves in positions of power. Greater representation is key to helping tomorrow’s stars realise what they can do.
How to Champion for Diversity
Building a diverse leadership team is one of the smartest things any business can do today. If you’re keen to take a more inclusive approach to hiring for leadership roles, here are three top tops for embracing diversity and making positive change:
1. Create environments where women want to work
For male-dominated organisations especially, simply creating workplaces that support women’s growth and professional development is key. Allyship is often recommended as an effective strategy here, not just for women, but for any group who don’t identify as being part of the core organisational demographic. Allyship encourages everyone to support each other, and advocate for each other.
2. Build a culture rooted in diversity & inclusion
At a time when more and more candidates are considering culture over salary, a business’ ability to promote a strong and inclusive culture can have a huge impact on the quality of talent they’re able to attract and engage with. Organisations could benefit greatly from being able to demonstrate a culture that’s rooted in diversity, where hiring from outside the typical pool isn’t special; it’s normal.
3. Work with dedicated DEI partners
In a 2019 survey by Gartner, 78% of diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders reported feeling that the recruitment process used by their organisation was biased. For those businesses that have been hiring for a long time, it can be challenging to begin doing things in a different way. That’s why it can help to work with a DEI-focused recruitment partner, like Bond Williams, to help redesign and redefine processes.
For further insights into creating a more inclusive environment join our next webinar on creating a “she-bound” on 19th July. We’ll start by examining the changes that we are experiencing to our working world and talk about the “she-cession” (the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on equality for women in the workplace).
Click here to book yourself onto the event and find out more.