It’s not about diversity it’s about acceptance. This is where we are – so what now?

By Karen Bertoli

CEOs being incentivised on diversity seems inappropriate. Extra coaching for women to get to the top is painful for them to absorb being singled out. Identifying the best people for the benefit of a company’s success seems more logical. Years have been spent trying to understand how we got where we are today with regards to women and men and the lack of representation in the board room and top roles. Enough already on the one diversity the market harps on – it is still only one of the many diversity challenges business and people face.

Developing fair practices for talent scouting and hiring where all candidates are given equal measure doesn’t seem too impossible in our new world of data crunching and metrics tracking, but yet we are not yet getting it right…. When role briefs require a titled person!!

Sir Winfried noted “Lloyds want, by 2020, 40% of management roles to be filled by women.” This we know will be a challenge (but again we measure just one diversity). Perhaps the onus is on big business to create and set the standard of the balanced cultural corporate skeleton.

Responsibility for change needs accountability and liability. A Chairman’s one role is good governance. The Board’s role is a fiduciary duty to shareholders and stakeholders. If we are to see change which is more inclusive, we need to create a forum and a measure.  How about a Board Committee to address “Diversity”, a remit that ranges from Boardroom to Customer. Again, I ask, are we creating a false space, should we not be doing the right thing naturally. Should it not be normal that we create a balanced environment. We should accept that we are all different and bring different perspectives and capabilities? Unfortunately, we know we only achieve what we measure.

Finally, one crucial element which needs to be built into this never-ending paradigm of lack of equal representation is the third party coming to the table. How will women and men fair with Robots performing active roles? This is a reality, it is already happening. Robots are not our enemies but are future reality. However, if we cannot seem to actively solve past and current complexities, how in the world will we manage with the influx of technical driven characters who are programmed to be “us” and we are not even sure how to integrate “us” correctly yet.

Something to ponder until next time. . .