The Importance of Prioritising Diversity in Leadership Roles

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Recent research conducted by Workday, a leader in cloud applications for finance and HR, in partnership with Sapio, has found that despite the economics issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of UK businesses plan to maintain or increase their ED&I investment and introducing new initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion. However, the report highlighted that there is significant room for improvement when developing better equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Creating a diverse workforce not only benefits professionals from minority groups; often the varied life experiences staff may have from a range of different cultural and socio-economic  backgrounds can introduce new ideas and perspectives to a team, particularly for SMEs. Establishing a diverse workforce can be a challenge, especially if the business has not set in place thorough and up-to-date ED&I policies. Often, business owners or executives take a bottom-up approach to diverse hiring practises, when in reality, a top-down strategy is more likely to be successful at tackling inclusion issues, disparities in the treatment of staff of different genders and ethnicities, and promoting a zero tolerance attitude towards professional and personal discrimination.

Lead by example is certainly a phrase that comes to mind when discussing ED&I. Ensuring diverse and fair recruitment at an executive and managerial level helps to build an environment where workers are able to communicate honestly about their issues and experiences. Communication is critical when it comes to improving ED&I, as staff should be consulted or have the opportunity to contribute to policies and procedures that directly impact them.

“My Haitian roots gave me a different perspective on life from a young age and having witnessed poverty and deprivation first-hand, I knew my passion would lead me to a career in international development.

“Throughout my professional life, I have always been fascinated to work in places inter-disciplinary thinking is required for solving complex global challenges. From women’s economic empowerment to sustainability requires people with different skills and experiences working together to find solutions.

“Different perspectives don’t just build different ideas, but they build diverse teams and bridges for others. I hope we can encourage more people to embrace and leverage their diverse multicultural experience and find the courage to lead in different fields.” Jessica Camus, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Diginex

A fair and inclusive work culture starts from those in managerial and leadership roles. Therefore, diversifying leadership positions brings into a business not only more perspectives and knowledge but more empathy and understanding for different experiences, lifestyles, and processes.

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