In today's highly-competitive marketplace, companies cannot afford to miss a great idea or ignore a different perspective. There is no room to waste capabilities or lose top talent. In today's marketplace, diversity of thought is key; it's those that surround themselves with smart people – not likeminded people – that ultimately achieve the greatest successes. For the leaders of tomorrow, the future is inclusive.
While this generation of companies has certainly come a long way over prior generations, achieving that vision will take continued effort and action. It will require a society truly free of bias and gender inequality. It will require rewarding companies where talent is valued regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. It will require a future where boardrooms and management teams more accurately reflect the true makeup of society.
I believe that everyone can – and must – do more to identify and remove the hurdles that can hold women back in the workplace. Companies can put more effort into developing, retaining and compensating female talent and in creating a culture where all viewpoints are encouraged and diversity is valued. This can remove any barrier that stops talent from achieving its full potential.
No matter how successful some organizations are, I do believe there is still much that all leaders can do to continue this positive change.
This International Women's Day, I encourage all of my colleagues, clients, friends and contacts to consider what they are doing to change the status quo and then I ask them to do even more. I ask them to take personal responsibility for removing any barrier that stops the best talent from rising to the top. I advise them to lead by example, to continuously advocate for change and to help advance the dialogue.
I firmly believe that the greatest success will go to those individuals and companies that recognize that the future is inclusive – those that work to build an environment where diversity is encouraged, equality is celebrated and talent is recognized, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.
This article represents the views of the author(s) only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG LLP.