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A group of diverse people is using digital devices (Leadership)

Building a Better Workplace: The Power of Diverse Perspectives in Leadership

Australia is diverse, but what about its leaders?

Australia’s work force is incredibly diverse, but it needs more diverse perspectives in leadership.

In 2011, 46% of Australia’s population of 21.5 million were born overseas or had at least one overseas-born parent. This diversity is reflected in the workforce, with 13% being born in non-English speaking countries and 23% born overseas, bringing a range of experiences, capabilities and perspectives (FECCA)

However while our workforce is diverse, when we look at leadership across Australia’s largest companies we see that diversity doesn’t reach all the way to the top.

A damning report from Chief Executive Women, (a representative body for prominent and influential women leaders across corporate and public service) found that at the current rate, It will take 100 years for Women to reach parity with men in CEO roles.

It only took humanity 65 years to reach the moon after the wright brother’s first flight. Something is seriously wrong here.

Frazer Tremble | CEWcensus2022 3

Frazer Tremble | CEWcensus2022 1

Contents

What is Diversity? – It’s more than Gender and Ethnicity.

Most Australian companies now broadly endorse Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policies (DEI). But while most policies embrace women and some racial minorities other diversities consciously or not can often be excluded.

True diversity means addressing all disadvantaged peoples.  But also the way in which different identities and attributes can combine within an individual. For example two workers may both be female but one may receive preferential treatment because she is from an affluent neighbourhood and attended a prestigious university. True diversity programs should address disadvantage at all levels.

A diagram which demonstrates intersectionality and the effect of different combinations of identities and attributes, rather than treating those things discretely.

Why Diversity and Inclusivity Matter in Leadership

As the old saying goes, the fish rots from the head.

Leadership sets the tone of the whole organisation. Processes and company cultures are traditionally formed through a top-down approach. If your organisation lacks diversity within it’s leadership then it is unlikely they will make any real progress in achieving equity and inclusion goals within the organisation.

This will impact your employee experience. Employees want to feel included. Whether it is on the basis of Race, Age, Gender or Sexuality, If they feel underrepresented in the top level of  your workplace then it is unlikely that they will feel truly equal, included or understood regardless of how many DEI policies are implemented.

As a leader of an organisation it is your responsibility to ensure employees feel safe, appreciated, valued and included in the workplace or you’ll face consequences in the form of absenteeism and staff turnover.

the importance of Diverse perspectives in leadership
The importance of Diversity in Leadership

Even if you are a cold hearted individual and don’t give much thought to the wellbeing of your employees the impact on your bottom line should make you sit up and take notice.

Here’s the data according to a Mckinsey study on Diversity.

Their study across the UK and US found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in leadership teams were 25% more likely to experience above average profitability. 

Companies with more than 30% women on their executive teams are significantly more likely to outperform those with 10-30% women.

They discovered a performance differential of 48% between the most and the least gender diverse companies.

Creating a diverse company at all levels isn’t just about making everyone feel good. It is proven to get results.

The importance of Diverse leadership at the executive level

Creating an Inclusive Environment in Leadership

Shareholders are increasingly calling for greater action to address diversity. People don’t want to hear about organisations announcing their support for diversity, they want to see action which makes a real difference.

At an executive level leaders can establish clear and attainable goals which address diversity in their leadership teams.

For example

“We are committed to increasing representation of underrepresented groups in senior leadership positions by 20% by 2025 through targeted recruitment, promotion and mentorship initiatives.” 

The company is then responsible for holding itself accountable to meet these targets with real action.

How to foster Diversity and Inclusivity in the Workplace

A group of diverse people is using digital devices. Diverse perspectives in Leadership are important

Other ways a company can create a diverse leadership team is through its hiring process. This can be through tracking candidate metrics to ensure that you have a good representation of different backgrounds in your candidate pool. You could access this data by asking candidates to respond to an anonymous online survey during the application process.

Companies can also use tools to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. (Or get a Recruitment Company to do it for you)

At Frazer tremble we reduce unconscious bias through anonymised screening processes in which candidates names and other identifying features are removed from their applications.

Of course a company can also foster a culture of diversity and inclusivity through implementation of policies and cross cultural awareness training.

Looking for the perfect candidate to diversify your leadership team? Leave it to us! We specialise in sourcing outstanding talent across Customer, People, Process and Technology Transformation.

Learn more about us here 

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