As both a moral obligation and a business imperative, workplace diversity is a key commitment for our organisation. With the privilege of leading a Company known for its engagement and strong links to our community, the obvious benefits of diversity are a key driver in our business.
Benefits of gender equity and indeed all forms of diversity, are perhaps best identified as diversity of thinking. Ideas generate solutions to problems or challenge ourselves to find a better way to deliver our projects. With a more balanced team, we see a broader solution set, and more challenge to the status quo purely from the standpoint of a different perspective. The power of diverse thought is hard to measure but impossible to ignore.
I am committed to providing a workplace environment that is inclusive of diversity and is adaptable to changing some of the antiquated work practices that can undermine efforts at Gender equity, especially in our industry. The tone and example must be set by the leaders of an organization, and a willingness to challenge past and existing practices is fundamental. While we have made some great inroads, we must not be satisfied with the current levels of inequity in our industry and constantly be seeking improvement.
Whilst we do not profess to “know the answer”, we do know if we do nothing, then we can guarantee nothing will change. Our initial approach is two-fold: firstly to provide a suitable work environment, capturing the simple issues like flexibility in work hours and facilities, and secondly we must also provide the appropriate workplace culture which demands better education of the both males and females in our business as to inclusion expectations and diversity benefits.
We have made good progress on the simple things like appropriate facilities, flexibility in work hours etc. and our retention is strong. Our challenge now becomes how do we better make our business and indeed our industry more appealing to the females of the future such that the candidate pool is vastly improved as we recruit the next generation. Our company is working with schools, universities, Government, and industry peers to better educate young girls, and their parents, of the opportunities a career in our industry can provide.
We are actively challenging our own work environment AND that within our Client base as well, to ensure qualified candidates are able to (and indeed want to) join our Company without compromising on their personal circumstance or preferences. Diversity is an investment in our future, and while it may be the next generation that reap the full benefits of diversity, we must engage today to create the environment and culture for diversity to thrive, otherwise future leaders at Clough will face the same inequity and barriers to change.