A colleague of mine has often said “there is enough room on the platform”. When I heard this quote I knew instinctively what she meant. Some of us have had situations where others have tried to capitalise on an idea that you created. Those people who have decided not to give you credit for work that you have created and have behave disingenuously.
Those of you who have read my articles would know that I generally give a personal account outlining my experiences. The one I remember the most happened many years ago. Before having a career in HR I spent time in IT consultancy. The organisation I worked for was one of the best if not the best at the time. As a Senior Consultant I had a financial target to meet on a monthly basis as did others. We received great incentives, weekends away, tickets to events etc. This particular month I was going to be the top sales person but at the last moment another sales person informed the sales director that she had in fact achieved higher revenue. It wasn’t until months later I found out she had cheated which of course made me annoyed. What made the whole situation worse was it transpired that her manager encouraged her to change the figures.
A colleague of mine remembers a time when she had created a training programme for her organisation which was received very well. A co-worker informed her that another staff member had said to her that she felt that my colleague wasn’t very good in her role and felt that she could do a better job. The same person went on to ask my colleague if it was easy to train in her field of expertise and asked for advice. It was apparent to my colleague that she wanted to get into the same field as her but felt threaten by her and wanted to down play her skills and the success of the training course.
Much can be said for the ‘glass ceiling’ it is littered with foot prints and fist prints of those trying to enter the ‘stale, male and pale’ arena. The executive platform is an exclusive club that shrouds itself in entitlement and belonging but forgets there is enough room on the platform to allow others to play apart. An open approach to executive leadership could make the difference between success and failure. There are many reports about having a diverse board to improve capability so why is it such a struggle for many organisations to do so. In current news we know that a Google representative sent a lengthy email which stated that women’s abilities are not the same as men that is why Google do not have many women in their workforce?!
Diversity and Inclusion vs Equality and Diversity is another example of how we review having enough room on the platform. My argument is diversity and inclusion allows you to take part and have a share in a fixed percentage but equality and diversity allows you to extend the table so everyone can have room to have an opportunity at every level. Some may say this is just semantics but I think there is a defined difference, particularly when you look at what action organisations are really taking.
When do we know that we have created enough room on the platform? When employees feel confident to ask for promotion knowing that the opportunity exists, When an organisation can truly say they have widened there search for talent to include BME and disabled candidates people, when a board no-longer adopts a white male approach. This would be a first step to show that organisations acknowledge the need for a culture that promotes a fair and equal approach to is business strategy.
The organisational platform should be open to everyone. Stop the extreme competitive culture that causes people to behave poorly. We need to think about harnessing a supportive culture that will help the development of all individuals which will in turn improve productivity of an organisation.
The stage is set for a revolution, a change in negativity and poor approaches to engage everyone in society. Fellow colleagues in the Diversity field have recognised that the time for talking without action is over. We must hold people to account and get real improvement for everyone. Activism should not be a dirty word it should demonstrate that people are ready to take a stand for what is right. Being support of those that really want to know how to change their organisational and calling out those that insist in behaving poorly.
About the Author
Dianne Greyson is a well known HR specialist with significant organisational experience working for the public and private sector for over 20 years. She is a talented speaker and author of articles focusing on the organisational environment.
Dianne has a degree in HR Management and is an accredited Mediator. Dianne is an an advocate for Equality and Diversity. She seeks to improve the capabilities of organisations and make them into ‘People Champions’. She believes that more effort should be made to reflect society and eradicate divisions and negative behaviours in organisations.
You can keep up-to-date with events and new articles on www.equilibriummediation.com