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5 Tips for a Culture of Inclusivity

Female-leadersWhen it comes to success, we often see and hear more well-intentioned plans and how-tos than we could ever use. Websites, blogs, consultants, colleagues and for many of us, our friends and family, all have opinions on what can help businesses stay on course. But what if one of today’s best resources for success is right inside our own companies and it just isn’t being developed as strongly as it needs to be?

I found some great insights into that issue recently when I attended Tomorrow’s Company’s launch of their report, Tomorrow’s Global Leaders: How to Build a Culture that Ensures Women Reach the Top.Tomorrow’s Company is a London-based global think tank that helps guide senior executives in leadership, talent, sustainability, governance and other top management areas.

The report does an excellent job discussing how so many companies still haven’t embraced the business case for gender diversity. It also explains the importance of building an inclusive culture that genuinely identifies and develops top female talent, and how companies that equally empower women and men to reach their fullest career potential can best achieve long-term success.     

Here are my top five insights from the research that can help your organization maximize and grow from the skills and expertise your female talent has to offer:

  1. An inclusive culture starts with change, whether it’s addressing unconscious biases and stereotypes, choosing managers who inspire others to act and think differently or recognizing that when it comes to leaders, they are as likely to be female as male.
  2. Better decisions, innovation and customer and client solutions are more likely to come from diverse teams with different perspectives and collective intelligence rather than homogeneous teams that think and act alike...something most companies know but don’t always act upon.
  3. Talent is one of the best market differentiators companies have today and failing to take complete advantage of it can jeopardize not only sustainable success but also the business’s survival.  
  4. Customers, clients, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders value, and are more likely to create relationships with, companies that reflect the diversity and equality that exists within their own organization and community.    
  5. Companies need to ensure that their policies accommodate the changes needed for an inclusive culture, and when implemented successfully, these policies help remove any stigma or negative perceptions and stereotypes.  

Creating and promoting an inclusive company where female and male employees have the same opportunities to thrive and contribute is no longer just a human resource issue. It’s business’s new mandate and if done correctly, creates value, growth and opportunity for everyone.  

Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President - Management Accounting and Global Markets, American Institute of CPAs.

Female leaders image via Shutterstock

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