Being invited to share my thoughts by several clients to mark IWD over the past number of weeks has been a privilege. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has intensified the challenges faced by women, and I firmly believe that the pandemic has also thrown opportunities up for all of us. Leaning into the moral message of inclusivity, owning our roles in enabling diversity and equity as well as empathetic leadership, we can all play a part in mitigating the risk of losing women in leadership roles and future female leaders.
We know that there have been countless studies carried out that advocate the business case for increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. In fact, benefits regularly cited include innovation, creativity, inclusivity, performance and financial results. We also know that pandemic has intensified the challenges that women already face (as highlighted by Deloitte in the image above). In fact, the initial research indicates that the pandemic could set women in the workplace back by a decade. This situation is now an emergency for employers globally as companies risk losing women in leadership and future female leaders as well as unwinding years of painstaking progress.
This years’ theme tells us that “an alert world is a challenged world” and with this awareness there is opportunity to address and tackle these challenges. In my talks, I shared 5 themes that I believe will be the difference for teams and businesses placing diversity, equity, inclusion, and empathetic leadership at the centre. Also, I have been heartened by the encouraging responses and feedback to my tips aimed at how we, as individuals, can lean into the moral message of #choosetochallenge by channelling acts of every day #courage.
Leadership is not about titles but rather a series of behaviours. How can you be the difference while accepting full responsibility for your thoughts and behaviours?
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based facilitator and leadership coach. For more information, go to http://www.changegrowsucceed.com