Recognising diversity as a problem
If you’ve landed on this article, then there is a good chance that you’re interested in improving diversity and representation at your organisation. You might feel passionately about the cause, recognise the benefits, and are raring to see more people like you up the ranks. Yet, we’re still finding that the upper echelons of the professional world are still heavily skewed; the C-suites make up of mainly men.
To get us a step closer to resolving this problem, the management consultants over at Dattner Grant hosted #hesaidshesaid16 in Melbourne on 19 October 2016, an event that helped to challenge the traditional ideas of a leader through the format of an interactive workshop. Attendees learned from the experiences of experts, and were prompted to actively challenge our biases throughout the session.
Making diversity happen
The panel of 7 ranged from various industries, including law, human resources, marketing, and manufacturing. While there were more women than men in attendance, it was a better ratio than some of the other events advocating equality that I’ve attended. Participants were invited to bring a younger person to raise the ratio. It certainly was an event that walked the talk.
Clearly keen on practical outcomes, Fabian Dattner – one of the founders of Dattner Grant – gave consistent reminders across the course to focus on the actionable, and to check our biases. This was particularly handy for me, an individual contributor who is knees-deep in diversity but works in an environment that’s 90% male: it would be far less effective for me if the talk had been purely on quotas, which we’ve heard plenty about.
The doggie bag of to-do’s
Hardly a definitive list of all the actionable items that were raised in the session, some of the small steps that you could look at making include:
Try it out
At the end of the workshop, the panelists were asked about their wishes following the event. In my opinion, the most powerful response came from Jennifer, who advised that we’re all capable of doing something with the gender imbalance, independent of how far along the corporate ladder we are. I went into the session struggling with the concept of wanting to advocate for equality while juggling my relationships in a male-dominant workplace – these takeaways gave me a good starting point which I’ve started to implement from day dot, and I hope the list will help you too.
Written by: Aniya Roslan @ The 100% Project