Every day leaders get to decide how employees will experience the organisation – this is a privilege. Regardless of how many people you manage or level of seniority, as a leader you get to decide how women will be valued, how men will engage, and how all employees will be treated. Leaders also have the esteemed opportunity to enable the men and women who work for them to put equality into practice every day – something that only those in positions of power get to do.
This is the definition of leadership: empowering all women and men to meaningfully contribute to their organisation by enabling them to use their different talents and capabilities and valuing them for this. Equality stops and starts with leaders. The call for leaders to advance equality at work is really an invitation for them to lead.
When leaders do not practise inclusion or own the cultural transformation processes then companies tend to adopt off- the-shelf diversity and inclusion solutions, which have limited impact and often do not result in long term cultural transformation.