My passion for gender equity goes back many years, quite probably a result of growing up with many strong female role models and influenced, I have no doubt, as a result of having twin daughters who will soon enter the workforce.
The reasons I chose to become a member of the CEOs for Gender Equity are numerous. At one level because it is the right thing to do but also because the evidence is clear that diverse teams (in particular when we see similar numbers of women to men) quite simply deliver superior results. These teams are better able to navigate complex problems, and less prone to blind spots and groupthink through leveraging diversity of thought. Superior returns and lower risk – surely that is a result all teams and organisations should strive for.
A fair and equitable workplace benefits everyone – when you create an environment that is open and supportive, it allows people to bring their best self to work and this has a profound impact on creativity, innovation and motivation. A safe diverse and inclusive environment will not be a significant competitive advantage in the workplace of the future; it will be a ticket to play. Top talent from all parts of our community will seek environments that provide diversity and genuine inclusion and, conversely, avoid those that do not. This is not futuristic thinking, it is happening right now.
Leaders are absolutely critical in driving change from the top down because complacency is one of the biggest challenges we face in this space. It is not enough to buy into the logic; you also need to execute when it means extra effort – diversity of thought is not necessarily easy but the benefits far exceed the additional effort.