diversity in business

Wildflower meadow by Karen Hands

What do we need right now? Diverse thinking and creative solutions…

After all the talk, the hopes and the dreams of a new era after lock-down, we’re back to busy roads and getting on with life. I know it’s not as simple as that for everyone. The anguish of so many lives lost. Huge numbers of people out of work. Parents still working from home without any real certainty about school re-opening in September. The biggest UK recession for a generation declared. Whatever is affecting you right now, my heart goes…

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Lock-down re-think

Whatever circumstances you found yourself in when the Covid-19 curfew came down, I hope you’re coping with the extra stress it entails and that you’re managing to find a little joy in life under lock-down. It’s certainly giving us time to reflect. There’s a lot of talk about never going back to normal once restrictions ease, either because we can’t or because we won’t want to do so. There’s much speculation about what the ‘new normal’ might look like. The…

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“One in six of the women who were elected for the Conservative party in 2017 have stood down [in 2019].”*

Today’s Guardian continues: “There is concern at the number of female MPs, including Nicky Morgan and Amber Rudd, who have cited the extent of the abuse they are subjected to as a reason for their departure.”* Women are stepping down at a younger age and after fewer years serving as an MP than their male counterparts, despite years of encouragement to stand for parliament and improve the gender balance. And so the pattern continues… Women entering traditionally male professions give…

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A woman gives everything she’s got for success…

I recently went to see the latest version of A Star is Born at the cinema – the third remake since the original 1937 film. There must be something timeless about the story of a talented young woman being discovered by a fading star, or maybe we all just enjoy a good romance. It intrigues me, though, that in the #MeToo era, we’re still entertained by the idea of a woman who sleeps her way to stardom. Does the fact…

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The power of the pen

These days, it’s the keyboard I turn to rather than a pen and paper when I want to write, but the image is as powerful as ever. Whether spoken or written, women’s voices don’t yet achieve the prominence they warrant. Three years ago, I wrote the first draft of a book about the gender agenda but felt that it didn’t do sufficient justice to my message. Since then, real life has got in the way! Writing is a habit and…

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Tune your ear to women’s voices

In recent weeks, it’s been reported by both Sandi Toksvig and Natalie Haynes that footage of female comics is routinely edited out of broadcast comedy programmes.* What’s left in typically shows the women laughing at the men’s jokes, when in fact the women were just as funny as the men during recording. This highlights two key points for me, the first being that the comedians’ experiences reveal just how important it is that we’ve got so many women broadcasting on…

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Look and listen

Which version should you listen to? Dressed up and ready to run an awards dinner or relaxing in the garden? As we all know, I can be both of these women and my opinion still counts. Or at least, I’d like to think so. Across my website, I’ve used a lot of professional images and I’m very grateful to the photographers who let me use their work, but I’ve also posted a few personal shots and I record video at…

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The only woman in the meeting

Women aren’t a good fit in the boardroom?

…so says an executive of a FTSE 350 company in a report published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills yesterday. The business minister, Andrew Griffiths, describes the excuses offered by firms defending the lack of women on boards as “pitiful and patronising”, but no one said change was easy. As the only woman on the board, it’s tough. Being the sole representative of your gender, supposedly reflecting the whole diversity of female perspectives and with the expectation that…

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Why it matters that women stand up and speak out – and why it’s still so hard to do

Differences of opinion can make the job of managing more difficult, but it’s the way to reach better decisions. For some people, steering a path that takes every opinion into account is the whole point of managing: the challenge that makes the job worthwhile. Life would be boring if we all thought the same way. So businesses that lack diversity also limit the scope of their decision-making. If women are among your customers, it would seem especially foolish to exclude…

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