To round off International Women’s Day, with its theme of #BalanceforBetter, we’ve some thought-provoking suggestions from leadership consultant and coach Lesley Evans. Before her retirement last year, Lesley was Chief Executive of Haseltine Lake, and also ran our EDI Charter group. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, in particular the importance of senior team members leading the way to positive change.
Here Lesley poses three questions for business leaders in the IP community, questions which will help you to reflect on the balance you’re achieving in your own organisation and how you can make it even better. She’ll be revisiting some of these points in a webinar for us later this year on “Inclusive leadership”. Keep an eye on our events page for more details.
For International Women’s Day:
3 key questions for business leaders in the IP community
The International Women’s Day theme of #Balance for Better presents a great opportunity to celebrate and reflect on all the qualities that capable women bring to our workplaces. If we are brave enough, perhaps it also presents the opportunity to reflect on how well our workplaces are serving those women and whether we, as business leaders within the UK IP community, are doing enough to bring about a better and more balanced working world.
Here are three challenging questions that may help you to dig a little deeper within your own organisation:
1. Does your workforce think you have or are actively striving for a good balance?
Media channels are awash with diversity content. Your colleagues are hearing examples of good and bad practices all the time. How do they rate your efforts? How would they describe your culture to others? Do they believe that capable people, irrespective of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, can do well in your organisation?
2. Do your clients perceive a good balance?
Your clients are innovative and diverse and many of them will have been working on inclusivity issues within their own organisations for some time. What do they think of the way you do things and the people you choose to represent you? Does your approach mirror their own values? What would a good balance look like to them?
3. Is everyone in your leadership structure pulling their weight towards getting the balance right?
No doubt you have some champions who are taking responsibility for your inclusivity agenda – but do they have widespread and visible support? Your diversity chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Who is that? What damage is being done by those who may appear uncommitted or ambivalent about attaining a balanced workforce?
Let’s celebrate balance and all the good that can flow from it, and let’s also show that we are serious about making it happen.