JobsAndCareersSpringIssue2017 - 43

FOCUS :

DIVERSITY
Oscars, Grammys and Brit Awards, there
was so much talk about making these
awards more inclusive. If this kind of
message is being talked about on that
sort of global platform, you'd hope it
eventually filters down to everyday life.

Why is it important to have
a diversity of people working
in an industry?
It has multiple benefits. Within a
customer-facing industry,
workplace diversity means your
staff members can relate to all your
customers. If you have a range of people
with different opinions, then it makes
it much easier to target a wider range of
clients. Your workforce needs to match the
demographic you serve and the population
has become more multicultural.
And the subliminal message a diverse
workforce has on people's opinions should
not be underestimated. When businesses
demonstrate acceptance of 'difference', it
helps to educate the wider population.
As an employer, you can also recruit the
top talent if your job applications are
open to everyone, and not just a select few.

There are certain industries
crying out for more women
to work in them like science,
technology and engineering. What
can be done to ensure younger
women go into these industries?
Education needs to start when
girls are still young. Arming
little girls with the belief that
they can be anything they want to be is

so important. If we start closing doors
when they are tiny, how on earth can they
ever expect to break down barriers?
I teach my daughters that maths and
science are cool. I don't want them to
think these are somehow 'boys' subjects'
and that they should stick to the arts.
Their talent should be nurtured in every
field, so when it comes to making
decisions about their careers, they have
the option to choose anything.
Parents, teachers, women in the media
and business - we all have a responsibility
to these future women leaders: to be their
role models and to provide them with
the self-belief to succeed.
I do think it is beginning to improve
and I know lots of young women who
have started to learn how to code, which
is just amazing. One of my friend's young
daughters chose her four school clubs last
week and picked coding, judo, sewing and
ballet - that's diversity right there!

There is still a glass ceiling
when it comes to women
getting onto boards in most
industries. You have smashed it, but
how can other women?
We all know it is only right and
fair that both women and men
are represented on boards and
in senior positions, but it still isn't
happening. Although gender diversity in
senior roles and on Boards is improving,
the balance sadly isn't where most
organisations would like it to be.
You would hope a woman would
automatically get recognised if she works

hard and delivers results for an
organisation, but this doesn't always
happen. Women need sometimes to be
more strategic and visible if they want
that promotion. Working hard behind
the scenes isn't always enough.
It is often useful to let your manager
know you would be keen to work towards
a higher-level position.
Women can sometimes be vilified
for showing ambition; but if you are open
and honest and ask your boss about the
skill areas you need to develop, it should
work to your advantage - especially if you
offer to work together with your boss to
set goals and objectives. Be confident.
Build relationships with other people
in your organisation. You never know
who may be in a position to help you or
provide you with valuable information.
Also, try to find a mentor (or mentors)
who you can speak to for advice and
to share experiences with. This could
be someone within the organisation
or outside, but should be someone you
feel comfortable with.

Do you think enough is being
done to accommodate
disabled people? If not, what
should be put in place to make it
easier for employees and employers?
There still appears to be a big
problem with unemployment
among disabled people, but it is
improving, especially in the retail sector
- and this is great news. Disabled people
make up a significant proportion of UK
customers and so it is only right that the

J O B S & C A R E E R S /// 4 3



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http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/JobsAndCareers/Jobs-and-Careers-South-London-2012-13
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