Throughout 17 years of business supporting our clients, we’ve found that organisations start their gender balancing and inclusion journey from a variety of different places. Whether they have run a Women’s Network, Mentoring programme, or haven’t begun their journey at all, we have been able to develop and build their programmes from any starting point.
Most organisations start their journey with a Women’s Network, encouraging mutual support and development. This is often supplemented by a Women’s Development, or Leadership, programme. Other organisations offer coaching or mentoring to high potential women. The latest and most in-demand development/method used by many professional services organisations is Sponsorship.
We have helped our clients launch a variety of Diversity and Inclusion programmes. Here are a select few case studies of individual work we have done with clients from a variety of starting points.
Launch of Diversity Forum
Last month, we were approached by a traditional, family owned building company to launch their Diversity Forum. We ran a facilitated session for this group helping them to understand what similar businesses were doing to handle male dominated workforces. Participants reported that they ‘felt motivated and that they could start to create change’.
Networking for Diversity
At Lend Lease the predominantly male working environment could be challenging for female members of the organisation, and meant that they felt overlooked. FPG delivered events and one-to-one coaching that left delegates focused on inspiring women in the business to follow their aspirations and provide platforms to do this. It also highlighted the benefits of a diverse workforce to the wider organisation. Delegates reported feeling ‘empowered to change the environment and the perception of themselves’.
For the last few years we have worked with the Tesco’s ‘Women in Leadership’ programme which supports talented women to understand their strengths, their own potential barriers, build networks and take control of their career. Of the initial intake in 2011, 30% have been promoted.
Improving Impact and Influence
FPG worked with the existing Women’s Network Group at Royal Mail, equipping them with skills to coach and develop their people and the tools to improve the influence and impact they have as business leaders.
Involving and Educating Men
Lots of reports* and books** are being written suggesting that the newest and most effective way to change the ratio of men to women, is to involve the senior men. This initiative is called Sponsorship. We are about to embark on a programme with a global IT company and we are looking for other companies that want to partner with us on this exciting cutting edge initiative.
If you would like to discuss where your organisation is on the journey and which initiatives would be most appropriate, Tara and Joanna would be delighted to talk to you. You can contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01628 488990.
* Gender Balancing; A guide to making Diversity in leadership happen: Reed Smith
** The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling; Sylvia Ann Hewlett, with Kerrie Peraino, Laura Sherbin, and Karen Sumburg; Harvard Business Review