Levers for Change

This year we asked our champions to provide more insight into what initiatives and actions that they have taken which have had the greatest impact on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in their workplaces. Three main themes came out as strongest, leadership development, being data driven with clear targets and flexible working.

When we cross referenced this with our data we found clear indicators that organisations that practiced these initiatives had better measurable outcomes.

Lever Insight
Leadership development Champion organisations who stated the strongest focus for them in shifting the dial on DEI has been in the leadership development space have increased leadership representation of women by 2.1% compared to those that haven’t been focusing on this of 1%. This is a reminder of how important growing inclusive leadership capability across all genders is to growing diverse representation at a leadership level.
Data Champion organisations who stated that taking a data led approach to DEI and committing to clear targets have increased women manager representation by 1.7% compared to 0.5% of those that aren’t taking this approach. These data led organisation are on average 5% higher in leadership representation of women.
Flexible Working When designed thoughtfully and intentionally, flexible working policies can help to drive greater outcomes for women at work and it allows men to play a greater role at home freeing up women from the disproportionate burden of caring responsibilities. Organisations doing this well are designing intentional opportunities for women to be visible and build profile in order to be considered for mission critical projects and promotions.

Below are some specific initiatives from each area that our Champions have specifically called out as being impactful in increasing representation of women in leadership.

Leadership development

“We have developed an emerging leader’s programme for our senior women and men. The programme challenges different ways of thinking, encouraging participants to think about their careers in new ways and how they can influence and impact others.”

“Our Unconscious Bias training for leaders and all employees has been taken up at all levels.”

Data Driven

“Transparency of our targets and clear messaging, have been important to ensure everyone is bought on the journey and understands their role.”

“Seeing the hard facts/data, and sharing this widely, motivates everyone to create change - across development, recruitment, talent mapping, decision-making etc.”

“We have used targeted recruitment to increase the number of women at Board and Executive level and our last two and we now have 50% or more females at these levels.”

Flexible Working

“Having flexible working policies has meant that all genders are on an equal playing field and has allowed more women to work for our organisation remotely and support better return to work arrangements from those returning from parental leave.”

“The flexibility to manage work and home commitments means more females are able to progress their careers.”

The Future

We also asked what was on our Champions minds going into next year and Neurodiversity is a topic that was most mentioned. Champions for Change ran a masterclass on neurodiversity in the workplace in June and plan to do more work on this kapupapa throughout 2023 and beyond…