Leading from the top: Why our workforce works by Katharine Horler, CEO
At a recent meeting to gather staff views a member of staff asked the question “Why we don’t promote that not only do we have a female CEO and an all-female senior leadership team but also most of our employees are female which is not typical of most organisations?” That got me thinking.
I think that women often play down our achievements in favour of just ‘getting the job done’ and to provide us with more of a voice, we need to shout a little louder. The theme of International Women’s Day is #Balanceforbetter, embracing equality across both the sexes and celebrating the achievements of women. In light of media headlines in 2018, (#MeToo and #TimesUp) it is apparent that on one hand women have taken a giant leap forward (100 years since women won the right to vote) there is much more work required to achieve equality and challenge stereotypes.
Lead by example
Empathy, sensitivity, compassion, tolerance and collaboration, traditionally recognised as ‘female’ traits, (many men share these) are qualities required for a job in this sector. Possibly reasons for attracting so many women to the industry.
I have always thought that we should bring our whole self to work, not just a small part of it and I have always tried to lead by example. I too have a life outside work, experienced issues with childcare and school holidays and trying to achieve the holy grail of work/life balance. Frequently staff have commented on the positive culture we have that allows them to put themselves and their families first – I am very keen that no one ever misses a Nativity play or other important occasions in their child’s life.
Talent goes a long way
In my experience, we recruit for positions in a non-traditional way by appointing talented individuals and then working together to accommodate their commitments into their working patterns. Many staff, including many of our male colleagues, work around school hours and others have caring roles outside of work and need a job to reflect their needs. I have tried to create a working environment accessible to everyone where anyone can flourish and grow. This is evidenced in the number of years of service: 29% of staff have worked for Adviza for between 10 and 36 years - unusual for modern times.
We celebrate all employees regardless of gender and embrace our strengths to move forward as an organisation and I am proud of the work we have achieved and champion all of our staff (male and female) who make our company work.
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