Diversity Strategy? Now include, please.

I started this blog thinking about hierarchy in the workplace and how to incorporate younger people in board level decisions. It seems to me that the over forties need guidance from the digital generation to enable their business to succeed in the rapidly changing online world. How can this be made to happen?

The current age related pattern of progression and influence may no longer work when the under 30s understand and use more stuff in this territory. A Walkman (seen below!) is no longer cutting edge and, even with the retro revival, just can’t keep up!

Photo by Florian Pérennès on Unsplash

The other week saw the publication of an article in The Guardian on current opinions relating to women in the boardroom. Apparently, we women cannot cope with the culture…

“I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/31/pitiful-views-on-women-in-boardrooms-permeate-ftse-firms

To say I’m annoyed is an understatement. Perhaps the boardroom culture just needs to change.

I guess I am a feminist, I just never called it that as I didn’t think it necessary anymore… (not since the late eighties anyway 😧). It seems that this is not the case. As I have a nine year old daughter, I hope her experience is different. However, some indications say not.  Such as the slogans on children’s clothes – ‘Hero‘ for boys, ‘Princess‘ or ‘Pretty‘ for girls – it’s been slightly changed by a recent campaign by Sarah Young, though unfortunately not that much (see https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/tesco-mothercare-sexist-marketing-childrens-let-clothes-be-airtred-boy-shoes-girls-a7881291.html).

For the next generation going into work and the millennials entering the workplace now, isn’t it important to eliminate even the subtle, seemingly discriminatory practice at a senior level? Simon Sinek published a video earlier in the year on what millennials are primed to need in their career – it’s not the same as the baby-boomers or the yuppie generation due to their education style, upbringing and just their experience of the world. This is not surprising and kind of a relief:

Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace: https://youtu.be/hER0Qp6QJNU

Discrimination takes place, that’s a reality, whether due to race, gender, age, disability (physical or mental) and sexuality. As a result, many companies are introducing training for hiring managers to reduce unconscious bias and it will be interesting to see how long it will be until this takes effect, and indeed if it will be effective. Let’s hope so.

Photo by Debashis Biswas on Unsplash

I heard Chris Davies speak the other week, purely by accident. He made it to the final of The Big Painting Challenge on BBC1 this year. It’s amazing as he can only see clearly approximately 2 m ahead and after that just sees colours. (Here is the link to the final on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b2n3g1)

Chris’ talk touched me as he explained that although he did a degree in design, he was unable to find a job in this field when leaving university. He has invested himself instead in painting and has started to showcase his work on this website:

https://www.chrisdaviesart.co.uk

I guess I’m wondering why he could not find an employer at the time who could accommodate his sight impairment in his chosen area. He has a job now but not one that reflects his intelligence and skill. In the world of web accessibility, wouldn’t he have an advantage over everyone else in defining what sight-impaired individuals need?

I for one am hoping that the inherent biases from entry level up to the boardroom are sorted out by the time this kid reaches working age… I get the impression he will have a pretty strong opinion on it!

Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash

Have a fabulous week! Hopefully you can change something for someone out there.

Love Ruth x

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