Improving Gender Diversity | Daily News

Improving Gender Diversity

CBB Sri Lanka hosts webinar with Lord Davies

The idea of gender diversity and inclusion has been steadily pulled in from the fringes towards mainstream consciousness. Within organisations of all sizes, there is real progress being made towards eliminating systemic glass ceilings and enhancing opportunities for talented and dynamic females in the workforce. Recently, Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Sri Lanka, alongside Head of Inclusive Diversity at the London Stock Exchange Group, Bani Chandrasena, formed a vibrant discussion on this topic during a webinar organised by the Council for Business with Britain - Sri Lanka (CBB).

The webinar is part of a series of efforts to promote diversity and inclusion by the CBB. Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes - President of the CBB together with the executive committee recognise the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion within organisations. Therefore a subcommittee led by Vice President of the CBB, Linda Giebing launched efforts to help organisations understand the business value and implement diversity and inclusion as part of their business strategy.

During the webinar, Lord Davies highlighted how 21st-century leaders must understand the importance of gender diversity and inclusion. “I’m a big believer in the idea that in business you need people from diverse backgrounds. Particularly in the world today where there is so much change,” said Lord Davies describing these beliefs. A key idea that he also stressed is that nations and businesses that do not have women at the top will not remain competitive from a global perspective.

“There is real business value in having diversity at senior management level where more inclusive strategic decisions are made. This is the first step towards a transformation towards unbiased talent decisions,” explained Lord Davies.

Another brilliant idea dissected by Bani and Lord Davies was regarding the human characteristics that define great leaders. This discussion led to an exploration of what qualities are needed to succeed in the work environment and push for more diversity in the workplace. From this discussion, the advice he offered rising young leaders was, “Your authentic leadership style must have humility as a trait so that you are ready to truly listen to others before making decisions.”

Ultimately, Lord Davies enlightened us that no one will remember you for how much money you made at the end of the day. However, more so for the number of people you positively impacted and how you stood up for your values, even if it meant leaving a workplace that did not make an effort to represent what you value.

In his closing thoughts, Lord Davies shared that it was necessary to enact a cooperative effort if we wanted positive change in Sri Lanka. One way would be encouraging two or three male CEOs who believe in this cause of gender diversity to start the trend in the corporate sector.

He also advocated for each of us to become change agents. Doing so within your company or otherwise, while also calling for greater exposure of females and highlighting their success stories, will be the best way forward within the Sri Lankan ecosystem.

The Council for Business with Britain - Sri Lanka facilitates and promotes two-way trade between Sri Lanka and the UK and enables a harmonious business relationship between the two countries.

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