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Women and Girls

Women make great leaders


Trudy Norris-Grey

Chair of WISE board

What is your personal perspective of women’s progression to leadership positions?

“I meet so many inspiring and talented women who are great leaders operating in all aspects of life! Many have a story about overcoming adversity. Women want to progress and are capable of doing so.

“In certain areas of the economy, such as technology and medicine, there is a clamour for talent and potential and I see women taking their rightful place as leaders. I’d love to see more women be confident of their capability and see society help them reach their potential as leaders.”

This isn’t just a paragraph in a HR policy book!

What is your personal experience as a woman in a senior position for such a huge organisation?

“Major organisations today understand the value of diversity and, in general, put in place the management processes to ensure they reap the rewards of a diverse workforce. We need to keep shining a light on diversity to ensure that teams, organisations, companies deliver on the goal of equality, diversity and inclusion.

“Exclusion must be challenged – it’s unacceptable and negatively impacts a thriving organisation.”

Why aren’t there enough women in leadership roles?

“There isn’t an easy answer to this question. I would like to see more women and girls in the pipeline, more female talent and progression, more challenge of conscious and unconscious bias, more inclusion and support.”

What can companies do, to empower women to progress into leadership?

“Drive out discrimination and be active on diversity and true inclusion! This isn’t just a paragraph in a HR policy book; diversity and true inclusion needs to be constantly demonstrated in every meeting, interaction, promotion discussion, recruitment activity and pay review.

“It needs to be led from the top with success measures made public, progress shared and any missed targets addressed. This is not just about equality but about being the best we ALL can be, as individuals and as teams, utilising all the talent available.”

What work still needs to be done?

“We have made progress in the work place environment; but we still have too many young women turned-off to significant sectors of our industry such as science, technology, engineering and the built environment.

“There may still be prejudice in schools, girls may receive the message that some jobs are just for the boys. This is crazy and a waste of talent! In the area of medicine, women recruits outnumber men; yet in equally challenging and rewarding professions such as technology the situation is reversed.

“We need to constantly challenge paradigms and change our mindsets! If we don’t, we limit individuals, our communities and our country.”

What would be your advise to women and girls aspiring to thrive in business?

“Go for it! There are no gender reasons why you cannot succeed. Life is an adventure, it can be fun as well as hard work; don’t deny yourself the opportunity!

Look for careers that are in demand in a rapidly changing and increasingly technology-based future.

“Acquire the skills you need to thrive in a changing world (they currently include STEM and creativity). Keep learning and adapting, be confident; ask for opportunities and pay rises; have fun; expect and demand equality.”

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