Erica Ingham | CFO

Diversity is currently a hot topic to discuss, but the solution is in the action.

Implementing gender quotas for Boards is not enough. This focus on targets fails to address the root cause. Only when we address this, can we effectively drive change. I believe there are two dominant reasons behind board gender inequality.

Firstly, there is a sharp drop off of senior women before they get to board level. Opportunities to work flexibly early on in a woman’s career, without hindering progression could mitigate this, notably as they return to work as a parent.

The second issue is organisational culture; does the tone at the top genuinely radiate passion about equality and fairness? Does it demonstrate a high level of empathy?

I’m proud to say at MediaCom North we have 100% of staff return to work after having a baby, extensive flexible workers and a “core hours” policy to allow for school runs. The concept of diversity encompasses empathy, fairness, and respect. The board set these values and thus should seek new and effective ways to implement initiatives relating to all dimensions of individuality. As an example, MediaCom North are implementing a programme to ensure our management fully understand the wide range of neuro-differences that exist, (examples being Dyslexia and Autism), to offer support, and adjustments, from recruitment to retention.

To reiterate a popular quote: “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”