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Transforming masculine cultures to be more inclusive delivers high performance

October 2010 Diversity & Inclusion Best Practice
Transforming masculine cultures to be more inclusive delivers high performance
Below are five quotes from women from a Diversity Diagnostic that we have been conducting for a Private Sector client:-
 “(A hindering factor for inclusion for women is) the dynamic of the masculine culture which generates subliminal negative behaviours to women.”
“I’ve seen issues being raised by women and they are not heard. Then a man presents it and they are listened to.”
 “Getting on is all about bringing in the money...you have to be ruthless and disregard your colleagues.”
“Women are more interactive and want to help people out”
“Women don’t push themselves and there's nothing in our company to help pull us forward.”
They reveal that this company has a masculine culture and that the women in it experience barriers to giving of their best. Clearly, this represents a loss of potential and performance. I would contend, also, that it reduces the potential quality of problem solving and creativity. This is because, as the quote about women not being heard indicates, women’ perspectives are not always taken into account and this reduces the possibility of all aspects of the problem being considered and results in ideas for resolving it being overlooked.
IDC has done many diversity diagnostics for all kinds of clients ranging from medium sized nationally based companies to global Corporates. They involve: affinity focus groups, e.g. women’s, men’s, Minority Ethnic’, lesbian and gay, generational, disabled groups, etc; senior manager interviews; online surveys. IDC has a well-tried and powerful set of tools for each of these activities. They offer a very effective means of identifying what is helping and hindering the client from having an inclusive culture and for prioritising the critical actions needed to change this. They also play an important role in beginning the engagement of the workforce in the change process needed to transform the culture to be more inclusive.
However, another critical requirement that needs to be in place is the will of the leadership to take action and begin to drive a long-term strategic, change process. It is the stories and quotes of the women and other underrepresented groups that make the emotional impact needed to generate that will. For example, while I was presenting the findings of a global diversity diagnostic to an investment bank’s executive team, after hearing quotes like those above, its President leant forward and said “Ian, I’d never realised....I thought we were a meritocracy and we’re not!” This galvanised him and his team into driving the transformation to becoming a meritocracy for everyone, not just white men, through building a more inclusive culture. When I was involved in conducting a follow-up diversity diagnostic five years later I was amazed at the progress that had been made.
If you want to obtain the big business performance gains that come from having an inclusive culture, which engages everyone to their full potential, then a diversity diagnostic is the best means to begin. It pinpoints the issues and the priority actions needed and it gains the leadership’s commitment, intellectually and emotionally, to act.
Remember that:
-         In world-class organisations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is nearly 10:1
-         In average organisations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is less than 2:1
Can you afford to miss this ‘5 x factor’?
(Source: 30 years of Gallop Research involving 17 million employees)
IDC has the experience, the people and the tools and transformational change experience to help you diagnose the issues and take the necessary actions to address these to successfully build an inclusive, high performance culture.
Dr Ian Dodds, iandodds@iandoddsconsulting.com , 27 Sep 2010

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