Most successful companies I’ve worked with or spoken about, whether led by males, females, or a combination of both, share success in a few distinct categories: communication, culture, and leadership. I recently talked about this in my podcast Defying the Status Quo.
One contributor to success for companies with leaders that have defied the status quo is good and authentic communication.
Making a point to foster communication among underrepresented parties in the same field allows them to develop greater connections and feel less isolated. This is true whether the differences are gender, age, education or job title. I found when I focused on developing connections with other women and other company leaders, my overall performance and job satisfaction have increased.
Communication is also important within your company on topics like making sure communication is fair, open, and lacking in unconscious bias. There also needs to be a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, although I often joke that working with my husband opens me up for all sorts of innuendos from across the hallway.
In all seriousness, if you want to attract, retain and promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace, you need to ask some introspective questions. What are your company’s policies for communication? How should a complaint be filed? Policies and processes should be put in place regarding how colleagues should communicate appropriately.
Successful companies allow and even encourage community within their company. In my podcast interview with Bobbi Wells, VP of Safety and Airworthiness for FedEx, she indicated there’s a group for just about everything at FedEx, which the company supports.
Successful companies also provide opportunities for growth in various ways, and that doesn’t just include sending employees to conferences. Think about bringing leadership training in-house to make it easier on employees who find it difficult to travel with small children or other dependents at home.
Companies with enviable cultures also have standard operating procedures that allow diversity of thought to be expressed, like engaging people who are working in different parts of the world or working for different industries, bringing different skillsets to the table.
Leaders of successful companies are able to overcome personal and corporate unconscious bias, they’re able to mentor both men and women, and they’re effective at being champions of women – knowing that may look a little different.
Leaders are able to talk about the things that they’ve failed at and areas where they may have had struggles, either in the past or in the present. That’s what makes authentic role models and leaders.
Outside of the restriction of job titles, leadership can take place in a one-on-one mentorship, a group setting, or in an informal way by giving a simple piece of advice.
For more information on these topics, tune in to my podcast, where I interview women who are making a difference in male-dominated industries.
- Removing Bias with Cara McCarty
- Hiring Passionate Employees with Per Marthinsson
- If You’re Not Falling Down, You’re Not Learning with Bobbi Wells
- Crushing Mediocrity with Lisa Copeland
- Making an Impact in Aviation with Dr. Peggy Chabrian