With the business landscape of every industry in constant flux, companies need to constantly adapt. A diverse staff make-up will make your company far more likely to easily embrace change and succeed no matter what the future holds.
Without diversity in the workplace, especially among decision makers, ideas and business strategies are can easily grow stale and the likelihood of risky blind spots increases. A variety of backgrounds brings a wealth of new ideas to any business, from gender to ethnic diversity.
Saïd Business School alumni Kelly Carter, VP Legal and Compliance at Gold Fields Australia, has seen both sides of the coin on display in her work. The mining industry is heavily skewed towards men, with female representation on only 9% of the top mining and metals companies from across the globe. When Carter realized she was the only woman in the Australian executive team, rather than celebrate her achievement, she found it inhibited her.
It is unsurprising that many women in male-dominated industries attempt to ‘assimilate’; to model themselves after their male counterparts. You only need to look at high-profile female politicians and their typical ‘uniform’ to see this in action.
‘When you’re in a male-dominated industry, you can be less inclined to celebrate your differences. You are more likely to try and silence them as opposed to taking advantage of them.’ – Kelly Carter
Not only do boardrooms need to embrace diversity in the personnel make-up but also encourage the differences in opinion and outlook that diversity brings.
Looking to increase diversity in your business? Remember that it isn’t all about increasing the number of diverse colleagues, but a cultural shift as well.
Avoid creating an echo chamber in your boardroom. Generate new ideas and increase your financial returns. Embrace diversity.
You can read more about Kelly Carter and her efforts to improve diversity in the mining industry in the Saïd Business School Executive Education magazine.
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