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For heaven's sake, just ask her!

For heaven's sake, just ask her!

Nicola Hopes

8 March 2023

Sometimes it’s the simplest advice that has the biggest impact. Case in point:

Client: We’ve introduced a mentoring programme for senior women, removed names from job applications, and run unconscious bias training for our leaders. But I know we still have a problem getting diverse voices into leadership. [Sigh]
Me: How are you measuring success?
Client: We’ve got the data consultants running some analysis on diversity.
Me: What’s the feedback on the ground on the things you’ve done so far?
Client: Erm. Don’t know.
Me: What do the teams think will make the biggest difference?
Client: Erm. Not sure.
Me: What do you think you could do then...? [Comedy eye roll]

It seems obvious set out like that, but trust me, it’s a common mistake.

Does any of this sound familiar:

  1. Caring leader goes to conference/ reads book/ brings in adviser and decides on a few projects to improve diverse thinking in leadership.
  2. Caring leader implements projects. Diverse range of people are not properly consulted.
  3. Caring leader doesn’t really know what good looks like or what they’ll do if those projects don’t work.
  4. Projects hit issues. Caring leader throws in the towel… ‘Well, I tried!’

So, on International Women’s Day – #EmbraceEquity and ASK

It’s time to swallow any pride or discomfort and ask the tough question – ‘What do you think really needs to change?’

It’ll mean a lot more than the obvious tokenism of a fancy IWD logo or photo op to publicly declare how inclusive and cool you are.

And you might be surprised at what you hear… and how much cheaper and simpler it is to implement.

Diversity is a key pilar of responsible business. And in a world where there’s a ‘war on talent’, inclusion is crucial to your success - because you will:
• Attract the right clients
• Entice the right talent
• Solve problems using rich experience and diverse thinking

So, at some point this week, take 10 minutes out of your day to find some fascinating women in your organisation – and ask them ‘What could we change that would really make a difference to you?’

Then roll your sleeves up and make the change happen.

You’ll be amazed at what follows.


P.S. Need help to embrace the changes you know you have to make? How about a framework to help you and your team feel confident with continuous change, avoid failed projects and make the most of every opportunity?
I run virtual or in-person coaching, keynote speaking and masterclasses on Change Confidence.

Book a call with me – because the change confident world awaits!

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