Nicholson McBride conducted an inclusive leadership survey between September and December 2016. The majority of respondents (55%) rated their organisation as ‘mostly inclusive’, followed by ‘sometimes inclusive’ (27%).
Key messages from the survey:
Setting an example from above: The tone from the top needs to be sincere. Leaders and leadership teams need to be role models of inclusivity. A team / workforce that feels included in what’s happening in the wider business is kept informed as to what's happening in the business, feels valued and that they are part of the team, helping with building the business.
Change takes time: Change is difficult but a lot of work on diversity is going on, for example: ‘We understand the value of diversity as an organisation, but few are willing to try and do things differently to become a more inclusive organisation’.
Gender: Women can sometimes be seen as not staying long-term (hugely prevalent in emerging economies). Tackling this conscious or unconscious bias is a key element in moving towards a more inclusive culture in the workplace. The male career norm is still expected, however ensuring that working fathers' changing wishes are accommodated is an issue that is now emerging.
Culture: Does performance culture have a western bias? For example, ‘We are struggling with Chinese team members’ – there is a different understanding of work / family life / gender roles. ‘The business is French owned and French dominated. It operates a rigid hierarchical structure with little to no scope for influencing past a certain point’.
Legal Sector: There is a big divide between fee earners (lawyers) and business services, for example: ‘Non-lawyers not valued to the same extent as lawyers, regardless of seniority’.
Additional Points Of Interest:
- ‘Inclusivity can be very difficult to achieve in the current financial climate.’
- ‘Early days on the understanding of inclusivity, e.g. only just starting to talk about LGBT inclusivity as a company.’
Thank you to all who participated in the survey! If you would like to complete the survey, or would like to find out more about improving the inclusivity of leadership in your organisation, please get in touch.