Inclusion ‘essential for business and economic success’

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‘Diversity is a reality in society, and inclusion is the prerequisite for diversity to flourish and benefit organisations.’

These were the words of introduction from Alison Maitland, IWF UK Vice Chair and moderator of our Spring Reception panel discussion on Inclusive Workplaces on 3 March in the run up to International Women’s Day.

After a warm welcome from PWC’s Fiona Camenzuli, host of the evening, and Julie Goldstein, Chair of IWF UK, nearly 100 members and guests heard from three experts who challenged current thinking, provided new insights and touched on how inclusion could help us thrive in post-Brexit Britain.

Dr Doyin Atewologun of Cranfield University showed how collaboration and belonging in teams must be balanced with what makes each individual unique, which is their strength. Leaders need to develop cognitive complexity, the ability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time. Inclusive leaders embrace curiosity and humility, being willing to admit what they don’t know.

Sarah Churchman OBE, People Director at PWC, shared the firm’s five-point inclusion plan and how doing fewer things more consistently delivered better results for inclusive leadership at all levels.

Ann Francke OBE, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute, provided evidence of how to narrow the UK’s productivity gap by developing more inclusive leaders and managers, which could deliver £150 billion to the UK economy.

We are grateful to PWC for hosting this fabulous event and for their leadership in driving inclusion.

Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels

IWF UK Spring Reception 2020