JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 64
What does diversity in the workplace
mean to you?
It means more than just race and ethnicity
- it's about culture. Culture is the hardest
thing to change and the most important
thing to get right in any business.
You get the right culture through good
leadership and by employing people with
different backgrounds. This means different
cultures are employed with different
approaches, with people who aren't afraid to
raise issues, push for answers and demand
change or progress in any business.
I like to employ people who question
everything! "Why is this important?", "How
does this effect our business or our staff?",
"How does this fit in with our brand?".
In my experience, the worst workplaces
are those that employ people with
the same background, education and
outlook - they're often too busy patting
each other on the back as they follow
one another off the edge of the cliff.
You work in the male-dominated
world of football - currently as CEO
of West Ham United FC. Why was it
important to you to bring more
women into that environment?
While it's true our professional players are all
men, there are a lot of senior women at West
Ham now, but when I joined eight years ago
that wasn't the case.
I like to give the right people the right job
and have no prejudice towards a particular
group, which is probably why I have more
senior women than men at the club. Of my
seven direct reports in retail, ticketing, sales,
marketing, HR, finance and operations, six
are headed by truly talented women, who are
a credit to themselves and to West Ham.
Women strengthen the team dynamics,
listen and work together to find solutions.
Why is it important to have diverse
people working in an industry?
It shows the company puts the greatest
weight on talent over anything else, which is
great for the business's reputation. But it is as
Overall, it's a
better time than
ever to be a woman
in the workplace
6 4 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S
important to the internal reputation of the company as the external.
When a company demonstrates that it's committed to diversity, is
known to have ethics, good employment practices and, above all,
appreciates talent over everything else, it will have a bigger talent pool
to pick from and a better retention of the talent it has. Customers also
respect a company that shows real social responsibility.
Do you think the glass ceiling is cracking?
It is cracked, but not yet broken, although overall it's a better time than
ever to be a woman in the workplace! We're not 100% there, but we've
eliminated outdated prejudices. Until recently, while it was not OK to
be a bit racist or a bit homophobic, it was still OK to be a bit sexist. But
no more. Women have done this themselves, by confronting issues,
talking about bad practices and demanding change!
We've come a long way, but we still have a way to go with regards to
equal pay and ambition in young women. The good news is that 50% of