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Inclusive Leadership

How Men and Women can Impact Gender Parity in the Workplace

By | Diverity & Inclusion, Gender Inclusion, Gender Parity, Human Resources, Inclusive Leadership | No Comments

As many of you may know, Mckinsey recently released its 2019 “Women in the Workplace” report. In what is widely considered the primary barometer for the state of gender equity in the workforce, the report highlights a continuation of many trends. Of them, the most notable is the continued stagnation of women in leadership positions starting at the manager level which in turn impacts workplace gender parity as a whole.

Despite making up almost 60% of bachelor’s degrees, and 50% of entry-level hires, women continue to be left behind when they reach the Manager level and beyond. While the presence of women in senior leadership has risen, the continued lack of progress in this area continues to be the single most important factor that continues to hinder workplace gender parity.

McKinsey Women in the Workplace

All this despite increased awareness, effort and even public outcry (e.g. the #Metoo movement) all calling for more progress. What needs to change is workplace culture. By building a culture of trust and collaboration we can slowly enable Men AND Women alike to build more equitable workplaces and slowly eradicate gender inequality. Here’s how:

Career Planning for Longterm Success – How it Affects Gender Parity

In a recent conversation with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, discussed the fact that women are more likely to sacrifice their careers for their jobs. In other words, women can be more focused on the day-to-day responsibilities of their jobs while losing focus on what might benefit their long term careers. Women can also be more concerned with the negative impacts of their own career advancement on their current teams.

What women can do:

Women can start by not being apologetic for thinking about their long-term careers and what might benefit them as individuals. It is always okay to do a good job day-to-day with an end-goal of something bigger or unrelated to one’s current job! This change in mentality has also helped many professionals avoid the ‘indispensable in current role’ syndrome that plagues many.

What men can do: 

Understand and acknowledge that many women have the same career ambitions as many men. They simply go about their day-to-day business slightly differently. This knowledge can help companies re-evaluate the way individuals are considered for promotion.

Building and Leveraging Mentorship Relationships

47% of HR Leaders say that the biggest obstacle to advancing women is the fact that women are less likely to receive the necessary sponsorship. And the facts corroborate this. Women are statistically far less likely to receive a job recommendation or be put on a stretch assignment. These are both major factors that contribute to promotions and are influenced by the presence (or lack thereof) of an advocate in their professional life.

What women can do:

Women are often far less likely to advocate for and promote themselves than men. The average female professional will rate her own job performance significantly lower than the average male professional, despite both performing at the same level. Women should practice being more self-promotional and advocating for their work. It may feel awkward at first, but it is an effective and even necessary skill to cultivate.

What men can do:

Because women are often less self-promotional, less likely to ask, and less likely to receive the same mentorship and opportunities, take it upon yourself to offer sponsorship to female colleagues, and offer assistance in these areas. On the flip-side, also be careful not to succumb to the unconscious bias that perceives women who own their achievements as arrogant or not team players.

The role of collaboration, respect, and Inclusion in Achieving Gender Parity

Gender parity can only be achieved and sustained if it is built on the collective success of everyone. When inclusive gender parity is reached, workplaces thrive. Inclusion is the first step to bridging the gaps between men and women in the workplace. Both men and women can contribute to inclusion to catalyze the necessary trust, respect, and collaboration that will drive EVERYONE’s collective success.

Happy Workplaces - Lead Inclusively

What do you think?

How can men and women advance gender parity in a way that is fair and equitable? How can inclusion be the catalyst for fostering workplaces that promote belonging and how does that factor into gender parity? Dive deeper into the topic during this webinar or join the discussion during an upcoming virtual-live Q&A.


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

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workplaces happiness begins with inclusion - Lead Inclusively

Employees’​ Happiness Begins With an Inclusive Workplace Culture

By | Diverity & Inclusion, Gender Inclusion, Gender Parity, Generation inclusion, High Tech, Inclusive Leadership, organizational culture | No Comments

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who would disagree with the idea that happy teams are better teams. Happy teams comprised of happy, engaged employees are statistically more productive and focused. It is estimated that companies with a highly engaged workforce make upwards of 147% more earnings per share than unengaged workforces. Happy teams are also objectively healthier. According to WebMD, upwards of 90% of doctors’ visits can be attributed to some form of negative stress in a patient’s life. It is also estimated that upwards of $576B are lost every year by US employers to workforce illness. All of this even though, on average, companies spend around $750 per employee on employee wellness initiatives. For these reasons and more it is fair to say that workplace engagement and happiness begins with an inclusive workplace culture.

Inclusive leadership creates a culture that fosters innovation and drives performance. Having happy employees is the root of innovation and performance. Workplace happiness begins and ends with a culture that is inclusive of its team members. Here’s how:

Happiness begins with feeling understood

Psychology Today suggests that feeling understood is arguably more important to happiness than feeling loved. Inclusive cultures foster the psychological safety necessary for all members to feel comfortable being themselves in the workplace. Inclusion also fosters a culture that places value on individuals for being themselves.

Happiness begins with belonging

Feeling understood gives people a sense of belonging. Knowing that a team respects and appreciates what makes each person different as individuals helps engage all team members. This becomes increasingly important for women, minorities and LGBTQ+ members of a team, who are typically not as well-represented on teams, especially at senior levels.

Happiness begins with being part of something bigger than yourself

When individuals feel like they are understood, they achieve a sense of belonging and connection to the larger team. When ALL team members feel a sense of belonging, they are ready to work together to achieve a collective vision and contribute to larger company goals.

Happy employees are empowered employees

Once ALL employees feel like they are understood, they can achieve a sense of belonging. This helps them feel like they are part of a team with a sense of community that is purposeful. Individuals who feel part of a team that is bought-in to each other and a collective goal, are truly empowered to innovate. Companies that can foster a culture of inclusion can fully expect to reap the benefits of a happy, engaged and empowered workforce.

What can we do?

We believe that leaders are the catalysts to transforming and sustaining inclusion in team culture. But how do we train leaders to be inclusive in the moments that matter most? How do we change the way we coach leaders to be more effective and consistent in their ability to be inclusive? Here are 5 areas of leaders’ daily lives that we can focus our training on to directly impact inclusiveness on teams.

What do you think?

Is there a correlation between inclusion in the workplace, and happiness? Is it fair to argue that when happiness fosters innovation? How can companies transform their culture to help their employees be happier while also boosting the bottom line?

Join a more in-depth discussion to share your insights and receive crowd-sourced solutions from fellow professionals in the space in an open Q&A session.

Diversity and Inclusion Solutions Event


About Lead Inclusively

Lead Inclusively is a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion Consulting firm devoted to developing leaders, teams, and organizations to leverage Diversity and Inclusion as an accelerator for business performance. Our collective experience has been that diversity only assures that we have a mix of different people in the workplace. Diverse people in a non-inclusive workplace may be retained for some period of time, but without inclusion, they will not thrive, advance, or become strong team collaborators. Our Unique Diversity and Inclusion solutions ensure impactful and sustained transformation in your Leadership Development, Culture,  Team, and Performance.

 

Companies Lose $30B Annually By not Engaging Millennials in the Workplace – by Dan Negroni

By | Generation inclusion, Inclusive Leadership

We know that making sweeping generalizations about any group of people being “lazy,” “unprofessional,” “unreliable,” or “narcissistic” is repugnant. Unless we are talking about the dreaded “M” word, Millennials. But here’s the reality, companies are simply losing by not engaging Millennials in the workplace.

In their paper Too Old or Too Young? The Impact of Perceived Age Discrimination, authors Ed Snape and Tom Redman cite a study which found that “being seen as untrustworthy and being given less responsibility were common” among undergraduate business students. And that is if they are hired at all; experts now cite a hesitancy in employers over hiring younger staff.

It is called Reverse Ageism and it presents a serious hurdle to young talent in your office no matter how capable they actually are.

Reverse Ageism Is a Billion Dollar Problem for Companies
For a mid- to large- sized company, reverse ageism could potentially be costing you millions of dollars, your most productive employees, and ruining your company culture. On average, Millennials stay in a role for 1.3 years, which Gallup estimates costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. That’s a ton of coin.

And money isn’t the only loss for companies. Recruitment costs, onboarding costs, loss of productivity from watching colleagues leave, and lower productivity of new hires all negatively affect a company, its culture and its bottom line. Not to mention these young staff that are leaving are often more productive than senior staff and almost universally less expensive to hire, hurting your bottom line even further.

These are real costs to your company, but they are fixable. They require thought, time, investment and a commitment to emphasizing the strengths of your Millennial staff and helping the five generations working together today to bridge the gaps between them and leverage their unique strengths.

Millennials Have Unique Gifts and Gaps
While it may be true Millennials lack some essential professional skills, they are happier than any other generation to develop and hone their skills given the chance. Gallup found that 87% of Millennials believe “development is important in a job” and development opportunities regularly score higher than pay when Millennials rank the benefits of a job.

The catch is that they know when they are liked, wanted, respected and valued.

Employers who want to put a stop to both the generational tensions in their office and the high turnover rate of Millennials need to take the time to train the enterprise to bridge generational gaps. That process starts with providing Millennials with the training opportunities that develop their professional skills and make them feel that they are valued in the workplace and gives them a sense of progressing as professionals.

We suspect you might even be surprised by what they can do.

Get ahead of reverse ageism in your workplace. Click to learn more about the Lead Inclusively workshop on Generational Inclusiveness: Knowing Your XYZs.
– – – –
Dan Negroni is V.P. of Generational Services at Lead Inclusively, Inc. He is a “recovering attorney” and the quintessential next generation business management and talent development consultant and coach solving today’s critical multi-generational issues. Dan leverages his authentic, no-nonsense approach and a successful 20+ year career experiences as a CEO, attorney, senior sales and marketing executive, to help companies bridge the gap between managers and their millennial workforce to increase employee engagement, productivity and profits.

Women on Boards: Tips From Debra Reed, CEO, Sempra Energy

By | #mentorher, #sponsorher, Diverity & Inclusion, Gender Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, News and Events

On November 17th, I attended the 2020 Women on Boards Luncheon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in Los Angeles. I was fortunate to sit next to Debra Reed, CEO of Sempra Energy and the keynote speaker for the luncheon.

When Debra took the podium, her key message was to be optimistic, while also being realistic. “There are no glass ceilings if you do not believe that there are,” Reed said. “Be realistic about your board goals; start with a non-profit or a start-up before being wedded to aspirations of being on a Fortune 500 Board.”

Debra’s other tips were as follows:

1. Be the very best at what you do best.
2. Reach out to your network about your board aspirations with great specificity.
3. Be a team player at all times; this quality is not dispensable when working on a board.

Debra concluded by sharing her philosophy that leadership is not about knowing; it’s about how we learn. Our analytical ability is critical, but will only take us so far without a well-honed EQ. And since that EQ-IQ combination is what we do best as woman, we should be in good shape to move above the 19% of board positions we currently hold.

As a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s legacy team of executive coaches (the MG100), I am a firm believer that stakeholder-centered leadership coaching can assist women in becoming more well-rounded candidates for board positions. Lead Inclusively is committed to providing the coaching that can assist women in their journeys to the top. Learn more about our executive coaching services here.

3 Behaviors That Accelerate Innovation

By | Diverity & Inclusion, Inclusive Innovation, Inclusive Leadership

To succeed, leaders of diverse organizations must create an inclusive environment that encourages new ideas.

Many studies show that organizations with a diverse workforce out-perform more homogenous organizations. According to McKinsey’s 2015 study “Diversity Matters,” companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statistically less likely to achieve above-average returns.

While greater gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership doesn’t automatically translate into more profit, the correlation does indicate that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they can be more successful.

What makes diverse organizations perform well, however, is not just the number of women and minorities they employ. It’s about how included these diverse individuals are in key decision-making activities and how organizations value their contributions. It’s also to what extent they rise to senior leadership so that their voices are more likely to translate into meaningful organizational transformation and provide inspiration to others in the diversity talent pipeline.

According to a 2013 Corporate Executive Board and Center for Talent Innovation study, the “inclusion” part of the “diversity and inclusion” equation is a key enabling or limiting factor. Inclusive leadership behaviors unlock the innovative potential of a diverse workforce and increase the likelihood (by as much as 158%) of innovating effectively.

Organizational leaders must ask themselves if they provide an environment that encourages diverse people to express their ideas so that the motivation to share diverse ideation thrives. When individuals on a team feel that their opinions are valuable and sought-after by their leader, they allow themselves the luxury and the discipline of sharing ideas without creating a self-induced filter regarding ideas that aren’t in sync with prevailing thought or the historic ways of doing things.

In the absence of inclusive leadership, employees will often do the minimum necessary to achieve their own individual performance goals, rather than see themselves as instrumental to organizational performance and growth.

So how should organizational leaders practice inclusion?

The three “Rs” of inclusive leadership provide a framework to move the needle on the connection between inclusion and innovation:

1. Receptive: Seek out opinions and viewpoints on a regular basis.
Most leaders consider themselves receptive. The reality is that if we do not seek out diverse opinions on a regular basis and make that part of the structure of our meetings—as well as the way our team is evaluated—then our self-perception does not always align with the reality of our day-to-day team interaction.

Encourage sharing different opinions and viewpoints during team meetings by incorporating the concept into every team agenda. Incorporate formal KPIs or performance goals that reflect the importance, accountability, and appreciation related to new ideas about products, services, and internal process. Consider using interactive technology such as gamification to challenge the team to share ideas. In the absence of direct and discernible goals, “groupthink” and reliance on the historical way of doing things will be the norm.

If team members know that their performance evaluation will be, in part, dependent upon their contribution, even in the face of a less than popular point of view, the chance of hearing diverse ideation increases dramatically.

2. Reflective: Keep decision-making honest and transparent.
When an idea offered by a team member is not acted upon, or a decision is made that could result in the appearance that a certain team member is being favored over others, inclusive leaders explain the “why” of their decision to their team, honestly and transparently. Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of direct information about why a decision is made, team members are left to speculate about the “why” and will freely attribute a decision to cronyism, or to the fact that the person chosen happens to share the same viewpoint as the leader.

In the age of technology, the final decisions are often transmitted virtually and announced by email or newsletter, leaving a team without personal interaction with their leader regarding the nuances of the decision. If all factors have been included, especially those related to diverse thought that goes against the mainstream, then call that out before the decision is announced. If not, then reconsider the basis of the decision before announcing it.

3. Revitalizing: Listen for the silence.
Find ways for the quieter voices in the team to be heard. Look around the room. When is the last time you heard each team member’s voice? Are there some team members who manage to be heard, no matter what? Are there some that seem to have nothing to say?

Assuming that your organization chooses its talent carefully, the chances are pretty good that silence does not mean that there is no point of view. Rather, it may be a personality or cultural style that does not easily permit contribution without that voice actively being requested. Ask, “Is there anything you’d like to share about this subject?”

For especially shy or introverted team members, consider giving them advanced notice that you’d like to hear from them at the next team meeting. You may be amazed.

The Outcome of Inclusion
While every organization is different, small changes in inclusivity seem to have exponential results. For example, I recently challenged a client to take one singular action in each of the categories above and to survey the outcome, including asking an open-ended question relative to how team members felt about the changes that were instituted.

One of the actions they took was that a cloud-based receptacle for ideas was established. Entries were coded in such a way that ideas could remain anonymous or could be revealed by the idea donor. Team members could anonymously vote and they could also comment or clarify an idea. A gamification component was added whereby digital badges could be collected. When a certain number of badges were obtained (regardless of the identity of the donors), the team was rewarded with a team dinner, courtesy of the company.

In addition to the fact that many process optimizations took place and several new service ideas moved forward to be vetted, the overwhelming majority of the comments reflected a feeling of excitement, optimism, and engagement, including one team member who exclaimed, “Can we please shut down the portal over the weekend? My husband is getting really annoyed because I keep getting up in the middle of the day to input an idea that I dreamt about that night!” To which the team leader responded, “All our teams should all have such problems!”

Originally published in Oracle Profit Magazine.

Reap the benefits of Inclusive Leadership company-wide – explore our full-day Inclusive Leadership workshops.

I hire people who I know will challenge me …

By | #bettertogether, Inclusive Innovation, Inclusive Leadership

It’s scary to hire people with a voice – particularly when they are pushing up against prevailing thought, but doing so can reduce risk and propel innovation.

The intersection of inclusive behaviors and innovative behaviors is a significant part of the work that we do at Lead Inclusively. Learn more about that intersection: check out our Design Thinking-centered Inclusive Innovation Lab.