Dr Hazel McLaughlin reveals her ten top tips for enhancing diversity in leadership:

  1. Use training as a tool in the toolbox but it is not a panacea. Unconscious bias workshops and awareness training can support the agenda but it is not the whole solution. Integrate them with other initiatives.
  2. Ensure that the Senior Executives are sponsors and that they ‘walk the talk’. Encourage them to be role models and mentors.
  3. Create a culture that supports diversity & inclusion; values-led leadership can reinforce and support behaviour change.
  4. Encourage involvement from different groups, teams and functions across the organisation. Get people talking and supporting diversity and inclusion. Mix and match teams. Get people working together whatever their gender, race, sexual orientation or disability or social background. This is not the responsibility of minorities, but about engaging everyone including the majority. Encourage open communication.
  5. Encourage an inclusive mindset; reward inclusive behaviour and ’call it out’ when you see discrimination or lack of inclusion. Create policies and procedures that align and reinforce the core messages.
  6. Review how decisions are made in your organisation and by whom. Does this support diversity and inclusion? Where does the accountability lie?
  7. Mentoring programmes are useful but think flexibly; utilise all the resources around the organisation. Encourage upward mentoring as well as a more top down approach. Build informal networks.
  8. Enable people to be at their best by providing flexible working conditions. Build options that work for people not what you think they want. Reflect: ‘does this need to be done in this way?” Be flexible on hours, locations and ways to achieve the goals. The focus is on the end objectives and results.
  9. Build networking opportunities; encourage communication and relationship building. Enable people to make the most of networks and relationships.
  10. Enable disadvantaged groups to gain confidence and to build their social capital. Not everyone will ask for opportunities so encourage the less vocal.

For more information, please contact Hazel on hazel.mclaughlin@oecam.com or read her latest article related to this topic: Harnessing Diverse Mindsets.