International Women's Day event with Ambition

International Women's Day event: How do we inspire inclusion and promote inclusion and belonging?

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​In recognition of International Women’s Day, Ambition recently hosted a thought-provoking roundtable event that brought together senior HR leaders/Heads of Talents Acquisition from Professional Services firms.

The focal point of discussion revolved around the important issue of how to inspire inclusion and prevent women from leaving Professional Services firms before they reach senior leadership positions.

Chaired by Nicola Grant, Founder of She2 Leadership, it was a fantastic event with lots of engaging discussion and insights shared.

Here are some of the key takeaways from this insightful session:

1. Reverse mentoring

Participants agreed that reverse mentoring can be a powerful tool for fostering innovation, enhancing understanding, and bridging the gap between multi-generational teams within the workforce.

2. Equalising benefits

Ensuring parity in benefits across the board emerged as a crucial step in promoting a more inclusive workplace environment.

3. Reducing ‘us and them’ culture

Tackling the entrenched 'us vs. them' culture, particularly between Partners, Associates, and Business Services teams, was identified as a key priority. Emphasising inclusivity and encouraging collaboration is vital for creating a cohesive organisational culture.

4. Authentic storytelling

Leveraging authentic storytelling and spotlighting individuals' experiences can be instrumental in driving behavioural change and fostering a sense of belonging among employees within a firm.

5. Showing vulnerability

The pandemic highlighted the importance of leaders showcasing vulnerability and authenticity. Embracing humanity in leadership was identified as a positive outcome of these challenging times and this should be continued.

6. Being open to talent outside of the sector

Encouraging firms to be receptive to talent from diverse backgrounds and industries helps to open up talent pools and diversity of thought within teams.

7. Interview training

Implementing mandatory interview training for hiring managers once a year emerged as an important action point. This can help to mitigate biases in the recruitment process and ensure fairness and equity. If those members of staff don’t have up to date training, they should not be permitted to be involved in the interview process. The importance of diverse interview panels was raised.

8. Gender balance initiatives

Many law firm clients are actively working towards achieving gender parity in Partner numbers, striving towards a more balanced representation within leadership roles. However, this doesn’t always reflect what is happening in business services functions.

9. Apprenticeships for social mobility

Apprenticeships should be encouraged to promote social mobility and create opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds.

A huge thank you to everyone that attended this event and to Nicola Grant for being a fantastic chair. The engaging discussions really highlighted the collective commitment of Professional Services firms to address gender disparity and foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

By implementing these strategies, firms can take steps towards positive change, creating environments where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive and contribute.

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