When is Enough Enough? #1 - Inspiring Organisation Series
Updated: Mar 30
Diversity, quotas, merit – all necessary hot topics in today’s conversations and key attributes of an inspiring organisation. There is no doubt, we are in a critical time, a time for change, a time of incredible opportunity. Although we are getting the distinct impression that many people just don’t understand the issues, what they mean and then what action we need to take to progress our community.
So where do we start? How do we create awareness, perspective and understanding to drive action? Here’s an idea:
Diversity and that means quotas.
Yes - the quota word. For years there has been vigorous debate over appointments based on quota's vs merit. Listening to Diane Smith-Gander, Chair of Zip Co and previous non exec director of Wesfarmers, we had an ‘aha’ moment. Quotas = merit.
So the question is - if a board and leadership team do not have the diversity to truly reflect their customers, markets or constituents, then do they have the expertise mix within their organisation to be relevant and sustainably successful? Quotas can challenge both thinking and old models to effectively achieve an organisation's relevant diversity.
Without delving into the current disaster across many aspects of the Australian political landscape, we know the Coalition have a 19% female representation*. This, we are sure you will agree is appalling on every level given the Australian population is 51% female resulting in the Government being alarmingly short on diverse thinking and appropriate action. How can they properly understand their constituents needs and how they feel?
And that is just the gender sector, what about the representation and perspective of other areas of diversity that make up the fabric of our people, our community? Time to not only read the room – but get in the room!
“Inclusion and fairness in the workplace... it's not simply the right thing to do... it’s the smart thing to do.” Alexis Herman
Individual intelligence is no longer enough, according to Matthew Syed, author of ‘Rebel Thinking’. He discusses that cognitive diversity is how we can tackle these issues and progress humanity – in turn leading to more fulfilling and successful lives.
By being open to honestly reviewing an organisation's leadership mix, quotas can be a key first step – evolving awareness, knowledge, understanding and creating real change through action. This strengthens culture where diversity of thought is actively encouraged.
Does your company represent the values of diversity? Are they on their way to being inspired?
* Federal Lower House Representation