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Stop trying to fix women and start fixing the culture

Article by: | Published: 18 March 2014

No global business seriously questions the merits of diversity but it is easy to dismiss the cost of staff attrition as not a real hit on profits, and yet recent reports estimate the loss of senior women can cost around £3 million a year. The crucial question therefore, must not be how do businesses attract employees from a diverse range of backgrounds but how do they retain them?

A measurable shift in achieving inclusion in the longer term is only achieved through inclusive leadership training across the Senior Management team and inclusive culture training across the rest of the business. It is not enough to just send the women in your organisation on a training course but is only from educating, training and leading across all levels of business that will show a marked shift on the inclusion dial. Angie Peacock, Chair of PDT quotes: “Inclusion differs from diversity.  

Diversity is the window dressing. If calling for more women was going to work we would be there by now.  Inclusion infiltrates the culture, the leadership and the way we behave. You can bring the most diverse group of people to the table that you wish, but if what goes on around them is toxic they will not perform at their best. They will remove their passion, their ideas and often their wisdom. In short, their brains and commitment checks out long before their bodies do, but trust me, their bodies do leave.” 
 
To be successful in the 21st Century, organisations have to be global in both thoughts and action. It is not about ‘fixing the women’ or any other group of people but the future success of most industries relies on its culture. To become truly collaborative, truly open to new ideas and difference will take a shift in how managers see themselves and by allowing everyone to be themselves, regardless of how different these opinions might be.