If we do not share our knowledge, nothing is going to change

ARTICLE BY SALLY CLARE, HEAD OF DIVERSITY SERVICES AT AMBITION

When I first took on the Head of Diversity Services role at Ambition I made a conscious effort to throw myself into the diversity market. During my first few weeks in the role, I met a number of diversity consultants to find out what they did and learn more about the diversity consulting market.

One meeting particularly sticks out in my memory.

I went to a nice local coffee shop where I had arranged to meet with one diversity consultant. I had already been on a few of these meetings where I shared my ideas, my enthusiasm and thrashed out ideas with other consultants on how we could potentially work together to make change happen around diversity and inclusion in businesses.

On this particular occasion I was talking to the lady about some of the big plans I had in my new role, what I wanted to do, where I felt there were areas that need developing, and so on.

I then shared one of my ideas with her and asked her what advice she would give me as she had previously done something similar. Her response shocked me…..

“Why would I tell you that? I don’t want to give you a competitive advantage, I might want to do it.”

I was a bit taken aback but brushed over it and the meeting drew to a close. As I walked away from that meeting I thought to myself, “I am going to stop offering up so much information and stop sharing my ideas if other people are not willing to do the same”.

Nearly a year on from this meeting and I wholeheartedly disagree with my thoughts leaving that meeting.

If we do not share our knowledge, our findings and our expertise, nothing is going to change!

Almost everyone I have met working within the diversity space is hugely passionate about it. That passion is infectious and that passion drives change.

Having a diverse business has been proven to improve the business’ profitability. A diverse business fosters creativity and innovation which can give you that a competitive edge. Diversity is good for business.

We all need to work together and combine our efforts to change attitudes, raise awareness and promote equality. By sharing our knowledge and helping each other embed initiatives that have worked well and by stopping people doing things that have no positive impact, we can drive equality at a greater pace.

For too long there has been too much talk and not enough action.

Almost a year on from that conversation and I am even more passionate about what I am doing. I try to constantly connect people who have similar goals and likeminded views and the individuals I meet are constantly connecting me with individuals who I can learn from and work with. 

We exchange knowledge and strengthen our relationships over a mutual passion for change.

I still remember that lady who was so unwilling to share her expertise with me and understand where she is coming from, but rather than brush over her comment like  that, by sharing best practices and working together toward this common goal, we can become one great force of change rather than lots of single voices.

On that note...

Tuesday 8 March is International Women's Day where businesses around the world are coming together to pledge for parity. 

This is a day for celebrating and raising awareness of the issues that women face, not just in the workplace, but in education and in society as a whole. 

I truly believe that we all have a responsibility to work together and take action to make gender parity happen, not just on International Women's Day, but every day! 

Can you imagine the impact that working together and sharing best practice could make?

Sally Clare heads up Ambition+, a subdivision of the Ambition group that works with clients across Professional Services and Financial Services to address the challenges they face in becoming a diverse organisation. Click here to find out more

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