So what steps can you take to address this?
If you can attend an event or training day like the one run by Clore Leadership, consider those facilitating that training to be like your personal trainers: we’re here to help you get Inclusion Fit; but you have to do the exercise.
And I recommend the Cultural Intelligence approach (CQ), which I outlined in my workshop on the day:
- You have to start with your motivation (CQ Drive); why do you want to get fitter…
- You have to gather the information you need (CQ Knowledge); what do you need to know…
- You have to strategise and plan (CQ Strategy); make time in your day for the exercise…
- And then you Action it (CQ Action); you actually do the exercise.
And just like you can’t see us today and run a marathon tomorrow, you start with small stretches, a warm up – a practice within your comfort zone, and maybe a run around the block.
And it might hurt, and you might get it wrong… and tomorrow despite your exercise, you see no change…
You have to keep going, day-after-day, to develop stronger muscles, and slowly, slowly you build up, and over time, you get fitter and stronger, until you can run longer and further.
But it takes repeated efforts, and upkeep. And, like all fitness regimes, as soon as you stop, you’re likely to start to slip back into old ways.
The panel discussion at the event, with Sue Hollick, David Hevey, Matthew Xia and Sarah Weir, also added to this. Sarah Weir shared three questions she had been asked by a new trustee, which help with basic inclusion and understanding for new Board members to focus their support:
- What are you excited about?
- What’s troubling you?
- What can the Board help you with?
Joanna Moriarty of Green Park provided some useful statistics around especially Black and ethnic minority board member numbers and their attempts to assist those who were looking to improve those figures. However, again the point was made, getting a diversity of people on a Board only works if there’s an inclusive culture to support them.
We further made this point showing the powerful Accenture video “#InclusionStartsWithI”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g88Ju6nkcg
Achieving an retaining a Diverse Board is a challenge when personal biases have to be overcome and structures have to be reordered, so don’t have immediate unrealistic expectations of yourselves. It’s slow, deliberate, repeated hard work, but the outcome is well worth it.
Marsha Ramroop is Founder of Unheard Voice consultancy and Trustee at Derby QUAD.
www.unheardvoice.co.uk | www.derbyquad.co.uk