Why we should champion women

By Richard Pickard
Richard Pickard, Founder and CEO of Inclusive Search, shares his thoughts on why more businesses need to prioritise championing women

I’m particularly interested in fairness, but living in a world where white middle-aged men hold a disproportionate amount of power doesn’t seem very fair to me. We have a system in place that was created to let a certain type of person thrive, but we don’t live in that world that supports this anymore. 

We should champion women in the workplace, first of all, because it’s 2022 — it’s the right thing to do. But more importantly, data shows quite clearly that more diverse companies are commercially more successful — cognitive diversity just cannot be a bad thing. When a company includes different voices around the table, there's fundamentally no way that there can be a disadvantage. 

One of the key ways to achieve this is by building diverse management teams, as it’s a way to welcome different perspectives and approaches that wouldn’t be achievable if everyone was the same race or gender. Before you know it, meetings are filled with interesting ideas, and solutions to problems are being challenged in different ways to help evolve the conversation. We need people from diverse backgrounds, different ethnicities and with a range of lived experiences to make our workspaces more robust. 

But this all comes with education, one person at a time. The more people that open their eyes to the reality of the working world, the more they realise how much needs to change. Although diversity training may be a good place to start, motivating employees to engage with the programmes may be a challenge. The trick is to make it part of a development programme, which is integral for individuals to advance and get promoted. This way, senior staff will demonstrate their ability to hire, develop, retain and promote a diverse team, indicating that the company stands for balanced teams.

If you take a look at the studies, the data shows time and time again that the more diverse your company, the more successful you are going to be. So if you can't get behind the idea that it's the right thing to do, then get behind the profit side of it. 

 

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