The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce held their annual Women’s Leadership Conference on May 3, 2018, where Greene Resources was a platinum sponsor. During this event, business leaders and managers from companies across the Triangle gathered to network and learn from local and national experts. The topic for this event was the importance for businesses to champion women and diversity in the workplace. Breakout sessions included themes like the differences in communication styles between men and women and the ROI behind championing diversity in leadership.
Featured panelists included Farad Ali (President and CEO of The NC Institute of Minority Economic Development), Leah Brown (President and CEO of A10 Solutions), and Margaret Spellings (UNC President and former Secretary of Education). The keynote speaker was Carey Lohrenz, a former lieutenant in the US Navy and the first fully qualified female naval aviator to fly the F-14 Tomcat in the US military.
Greene Resources strives to support women in leadership, with over half of the management positions in our company held by women. Several of our women leaders attended this event, so we asked them to share what they learned from the various discussions and topics. Here’s what they said:
Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace
Breaking down obstacles to inclusion for women and minorities in leadership is a business imperative. Choosing not to build inclusive businesses and teams limits your business and your ability to grow and scale. Studies have shown that having more diverse and inclusive teams results in higher collaboration, retention, engagement, increased market share, and more opportunities to move into new markets.
Barriers to Diversity in the Workplace
Women are more likely to wait to ask for a promotion, raise, or new opportunity until a year after they are actually qualified for the position, while men are more likely to ask for more opportunities a year before they are ready. Business leaders tend to network and do business with people they know, like, and trust, who are often similar to themselves. Leaders should be intentional about expanding their social network and advocating for women and minorities to be included in the conversation.
How to Advocate for Diversity in the Workplace
Your company’s goal in hiring should be to create opportunities, not obstacles, for success. To create a more diverse team, business leaders need to develop action-oriented goals. Use resources like a manager and recruiter training and AI technology to develop processes to mitigate and minimize conscious, unconscious, and systemic bias in the hiring process.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace provide a greater lens through which to view the world, offers more opportunities for growth and development, and positively impacts the bottom line of businesses who prioritize it. By focusing on empowering those around you and looking for opportunities to champion the successes of others, you can positively impact your network, community, and business.