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West Midlands | nliddell@sandler.com

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A large part of the Sandler methodology is all about developing and enabling brilliant leaders; giving them the management skills they need to fulfil their own potential and unlock the potential of others.

We also believe that diversity is the foundation for good leadership and management as it improves financials, creates a better culture and ensures less risky decision making. Gender diversity is a hot topic at the minute and one which we embrace.   

In April this year the government announced that from 6 April 2017 employers in Great Britain with more than 250 staff will be required by law to publish the following four types of figures annually on their own website and on a government website:

  • Gender pay gap (mean and median averages)
  • Gender bonus gap (mean and median averages)
  • Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses
  • Proportion of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure

This information will need to be displayed within the following 12 months and will provide some good statistics given time, which should help move gender equality to a more equal level - lots more needs to be done but at least this is a start.

We believe great leadership is genderless. While some of the skills of a good leader are often labelled as “male,” and others seen as traditionally “female,” it is the proper blending of all those skills that one needs to be a good leader.  In my experience, a successful leader is one who establishes the right values in an organisation, applies those values to make sound decisions, and maintains a culture that presents people with challenges and opportunities for growth in equal measure.
Such a leader fosters a workplace environment where diversity is respected and welcomed. That means not only gender diversity, but a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and approaches to problem solving that will constantly put the best ideas on the table.

Companies in today’s environment are increasingly judged on their culture and values. Millennial consumers, armed with social media, have made culture an important consideration along with the quality and value of a company’s product or service. They have been especially harsh on startups that, despite delivering great disruptive ideas, have sometimes suffered because of flawed corporate cultures that disrespect their female employees.

In almost every instance, that flawed culture stems from a leader with a flawed character. That’s why it’s so important to have the right mix of leadership from the outset; once such a damaged culture has grown inside a new company, it’s almost impossible to eradicate, no matter how many great leaders you recruit later.

In fact, instead of trying to recruit a cadre of new leaders to fill gender quotas in your organisation, train your own people to become those leaders. Find those women and men who have a strong sense of character, emotional intelligence to match their smarts, and exhibit a decent smattering of humility. Encourage them as they learn to remain true to themselves – to be authentic to what they believe, to do what they say they will do, to collaborate with others, to listen and to be transparent.

If you focus on character and culture, rather than gender, chances are your organisation will find its leadership not only diverse, but strong and effective. If more companies would take that approach, we’ll eventually find that we’ll no longer need to debate the respective merits of male and female leadership styles.

Contact Neil Liddell if you would like to know more about our leadership training programmes - just click HERE

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