Gender equals Diversity – Diversity equals Flexibility – Flexibility equals Women – Equality equals Diversity = Diversity equals Flexibility…


Userpage icon for supporting gender equality.

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So this is the constant discussion I hear.  Gender equals Diversity – Diversity equals Flexibility – Flexibility equals (dialogues about) Women – Equality equals Diversity = Diversity equals Flexibility and so it goes around.  Problem is, Gender does not equal diversity.  Gender is a discussion about our constructed gendered roles and how those roles play out in society.  It is also about the way we see ourselves through our gendered lens of expectation.  Diversity is about the recognition of difference and how we value and respect that difference.  Organisational diversity is about leveraging that difference to improve business performance and business reach into new markets and new customers.

Flexibility is not a women’s issue, but I certainly understand the need and the push by many women to increase a level of flexibility in the workplace, and indeed, in society to make it easier for them to participate equality (and sometimes to just be in) the workplace.  But flexibility should not be solely attached to women as a ‘women’s issue’ because flexibility is a necessary part of the way that we live and the way that we do business.  We live in a fast pace, dynamically changing environment where technology has given us an incredible ability to work from anywhere – a way to be flexible and adaptable which in turn makes us more competitive and relevant in the workforce.  It makes organisations more flexible and adaptable and helps them to build resilience so why all the fuss and why do I still hear the ‘flexibility’ term used almost interchangeably with diversity and women?

Well I think its because people in general just haven’t recognised some basic facts;

  1. As I said the world has changed – we all need to be more flexible and adaptable so this means that people will want, and need to work in different ways
  2. It takes a male and a female to have a child and before you go off thinking ‘what about single sex parents’, the fact is that at the moment we can only have children when a male sperm fertilizers a female egg.  So regardless of who the ‘parents’ are – a male and female have been involved somewhere along the journey.  There aren’t too many immaculate conceptions going on out there in the world.  This means that there are always two parents – not one
  3. If someone doesn’t have and care for children then what the hell are we all doing here?  Not much point building businesses into larger businesses and building more houses and drilling for more oil when, well, we will run out of people to fuel the engine. Basic

So given that, I would think that children are a fairly basic requirement to ongoing life as we know it but that doesn’t mean that women are the only ones that need to do this job.  This idea is something that happened out of necessity when we had to hunt and fight for our food – the men went out to hunt and the women stayed home to build a family.  But this is no longer the case and technology has enabled most of us to live without needing to use our physical strength to work and get food, so really our work environments can be more gender diverse.

This leads me to the main point that flexibility is not a women only issue – it is an issue for the ongoing health of our society.  It is incredibly important that we include men in the discussion and make ‘flexible’ work environments for them so that they might have time to nurture the next generation too.  Yes, yes, not all men and women have children – I know, but should they be denied flexibility?  No, I don’t think so, who knows how they are inputting to society?

So going back to my first paragraph, diversity does not equal flexibility, but flexibility does help to increase diversity in our workplaces.   Gender does not equal diversity either, its just that the major need for diversity programs is because women have not had the same access to work environments and opportunities as men.  In a truly diverse environment, gender balance is only one component and these components will differ from environment to environment.  To me, diversity is about the acceptance of difference, and with that acceptance comes an ability to embed equality, flexibility, adaptability and resilience.

So next time you talk about the flexibility argument, consider what you are saying, because unfortunately for many, the diversity equals flexibility, equals women is just producing a further degradation of women’s ability to influence.

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WIL (Women in Leadership) Economic Forum, China


I will be speaking on an expert panel at this conference in Shanghai on the 27 September.  The subject is;

“Does diversity improve financial and managerial performance?”
As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. D&I is no longer a topic for HR, nor is it more political correctness than business concern. Companies with a higher proportion of women on boards and in leadership positions exhibit a higher degree of organisation, above-average operating margins and higher valuations. However, attracting and retaining more women who meet the challenges of labour markets’ change, engaging men in diversity implementation and calculating economic growth are considered major challenges preventing D&I from succeeding.
This panel discusses how employers can equip women with the desired skills to address specific inclusion challenges through cross-cultural competence. It also covers how employers are supporting women and how this affects overall company performance.
Viewpoint one: Measurable financial impact of D&I
Viewpoint two: Engaging middle managers in diversity initiatives
Viewpoint three: Retaining and growing ‘Gen Y’ women

 

You can see my interview for WIL on their Facebook page here.

 

I am speaking at the EuropeanPWN Madrid 27 May, 2013


susanne-profile-photoI will be speaking about my life, my entrepreneurial journey and Gender Economics at the European Professional Women’s Network (EPWN) in Madrid Spain on Monday 27 May, 2013.

“EuropeanPWN – Spain brings together management-level women from a variety of businesses and professions from multinational companies to small businesses to entrepreneurs. Our objective is to provide a cross-generational networking, experience-sharing and leadership training platform to international professional women based in Spain”

 

How do you know your organisation is working to its full potential?


How do you know your organisation is working to its full potential?

When I had my previous consulting company, I thought that it was part of my role as a business owner to ensure that I managed that company to the best of my ability, to make it run as efficiently as possible and for it to be as good as it could be, and I think to a large degree I achieved that aim.  It was a great place to work, we had great systems that helped us to do our work and at the same time be transparent to our clients about the work that we were doing for them.  We had great diversity within our team.

In the quest to improve business performance, many organisations turn to performance management, process re-engineering, business transformation, triple bottom line, benchmarks and the list goes on.  But is there a simpler answer to all of this?  I think there is and it is  an approach that is both the top down, AND bottom up!  That is, really seeing your organisations full potential means that it start’s and ends with your vision and the values that you embed in that vision.  If you have a vision that wants to limit the type of people that work in your organisation to those that ‘fit with your culture’, or those that have a particular type of educational background, what you are likely to get it is an organisation that is the same as you are.  So the full potential of your organisation is likely to reach, well, the full potential of you and those other like people on your board.  Of course this could be a good thing, but how do you really know?  Unless you recognise the ‘difference’ of others and enable them to input to your vision, you might never understand how your organisation can be different and what could set it apart from your competition.  You are potentially missing out on harnessing the diversity of others and leveraging off totally different viewpoints.

Chances are, your organization will be stacked with people that think in a similar way to your leaders, and to fit in and be a ‘team player’, to be promoted and recognised means that you need to be ‘like’ those leaders.  Of course there are some notable differences because you still need to stand out enough to demonstrate that you are leader material, or that you have a good idea.  I would suggest that very often this happens in a safe, conservative and standard business type environment and if you are excelling based on tried and tested attributes and behaviours that are acceptable in your organisation – you will still be acting out ‘like’ others expect you too.

Have you ever noticed that your meetings have the same topics of discussion year after year, to the point where you could virtually write up a good account of the minutes before the meeting has started? Or how often do you see a problem resolved in an organisation only to become a problem again in a few short years?  I would suggest this has a lot to do with the values of the organisastion.  Is your company described as a ‘dynamic player in an aggressive market’?  Got a turnover of CEO’s every 18 months to 2 years?  If so, perhaps your organisational values are out of step with the real potential of your company.

Our businesses are built on centuries of traditional structures, overlayed with processes and policies that still reflect a business model that is now way out of date with the globalisation of our changing economy.  Whilst many have tried to de-structuralise and ‘flatten’ hierarchical management structures, we still seem to rely on the same old criteria for board members, CEO’s and executives and this ‘model’ filters down into our organisation at every level.

Do you know that you are really using the talents of all your employees?  Does your organisation reflect the community and client base it serves or is there more that you could do?

 

Channel 9 Australia puts complainers through to a recorded message!


I have rung Channel 9 now twice to complain firstly about Days of Our Lives being replaced with The Block without notice and the second time to complain about the way the first call was handled.  

The first time I called, without any notice I was immediately transferred to a recorded message about Days being replaced by the Block as soon as I mentioned Days of Our Lives,  In fact I am not sure I even got the whole thing out!  I was actually ringing to tell them that it would have been nice to have had some notice after yesterday’s how, although I recognise that they might have last minute changes.

I rang again to complain about the way my first call was handled – so disrespectful, and on the second call the girl on the other end was really annoyed. Such a lack of care for your loyal audience to just put this on without notice and to then treat people who wish to complain with a recorded message is disgusting. I suppose you think it is just a bunch of little old ladies at home watching so it doesn’t matter?  You might think that those of us that watch the odd bit of Days during the day are losers anyway so why does it matter?  Well for me, after working really hard all day, my brain needed some urgent down time and I thought a cup of tea and the mind numbing Days would do the trick so on goes the tellie.

Channel 7 tried this tactic to introduce new shows during times when they had built up a following with another show and it is really disgusting.  I think that they did it during “Desperate Housewife‘s” to introduce the next show.  I don’t even know what the next one was now as all this tactic does for me to stops me watching the new show on principal.

The big issue for me here is that the mechanism to complain via telephone (or get information) was not open to me.  The second girl spoke over the top of me, didn’t want to let me finish and kept threatening to put me on hold, telling me to get to the point!  As soon as she answered this was what I was trying to get out.  “Don’t transfer me to the automated message when (interrupts and I start again), I mention Days of Our life (interrupts and tells me to get to the point!), but the way that my call was” (she says here is the address for complaints and starts telling me without waiting for me to get a pen), and then, she says ” I will put you on hold!”.  At that point I hung up and contacted Free TV Australia.

What is most upsetting in all of this is that you can’t get to speak to one of our major broadcasters about their customer service – not to mention their programing decisions.  Disgusting.

So here we have a major media influencer in Channel 9, and they are so hard to get to someone with a compliant that it really says to me that they have little regard for regulation or their audience.  What other business would treat you like this and get away with it?

Go here to complain using the Free TV Australia website.

Major Dimensions – The Diversity Program Review Framework


Copyright Susanne Moore 2012, Diversity Program Review Framework

Background

In order to measure the effectiveness of Diversity and to evaluate data for the next phases of the research, I have developed major measurement dimensions which form part of the Diversity Program Review Framework.  The Framework will allow the project to look at areas such as;
  • Identification of all available metrics, benchmarks, targets, quotas and program deliverables
  • Identification of existing and planned frameworks within Diversity and Inclusion programs including, employee self service, human resource policy, financial measurements
  • Reviews the Diversity Program for effectiveness and suitability, assesses its links to business benefits, strategy and business performance

What is it?

The Diversity Program Review Framework will measure both the program’s standalone effectiveness from a program management perspective, and assesses the viability of  the program’s data  as a research  candidate  for the broader research project.

What are the outcomes?

The review framework is currently being developed and consists of a Program Review, A Capability Assessment mapped to the journey of your program, a number of Survey instrument’s to capture stakeholder feedback and a Comprehensive Report.
As my particular area of focus is Gender and Economics, I am also looking at additional catogories within each of these major dimensions to gain as much research data on gender performance against profitablity as possible.

Diversity Program Review Framework


As part of my study into the “Profit Impact of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs”, I am developing a Diversity Program Review Framework during my Identification Phase which is Phase 2 of the 5 project phases.

Here is some information on the current Phase;

2. Identification

Example tasks include;

  • Identify all available metrics, benchmarks, targets, quotas and program deliverables
  • Identification of existing and planned frameworks within Diversity and Inclusion programs including, employee self service, human resource policy, financial measurements
  • Identify program reviews for effectiveness and suitability for linking to business benefits
  • MAJOR OUTPUTA Diversity Program Review Framework, measuring both the program’s standalone effectiveness from a program management perspective, and assesses the viability of program’s data for further research

The Framework and the resulting reviews are vitally important to the research and I am looking for organisation’s that would be interested in allowing me to trial the review framework with them within the next couple of weeks.

The major review dimension’s are;

  1. Program Management Capability
  2. Cultural Integration and Acceptance (subsets here are Gender, Age, ethnicity, etc)
  3. Organisational (vision, strategy)
  4. Innovation
  5. Performance against benchmarks

These tie into the “Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World” (O’Mara, J, Richter, A 2011) with some additional detail that I am adding as a result of my research so far.

Once the trial is completed I will be offering the Reviews as a consulting service to help fund the remainder of the research.

Please contact me using the Contact form if you or your organisation may be interested in participating in this research.

“Diversity Program Review Framework”, “Gender Economics” and “Diversity Economics” copyright Susanne Moore 2012

See more about Gender Economics and Diversity Economics at www.gendereconomics.com

Sample Talks


Here are some of my Sample Talks;

Title:  Gender Economics and Diversity for Organisations
Description: Building frameworks and metrics for gender diversity programs to measure their impact on bottom line profitability. Expanding these metrics to measure the economic input of gender diversity programs.

Title: Integrity Management Methodology
Description: A specific niche consulting, which looks at imbedding integrity and improving business performance by linking environmental responsibility, cultural sensitivity (and gender) and the development of new paradigms for business management. An example of this is developing new criteria for woman in leadership roles such as Board postings so that they don’t need to fit within the old male patriarchal structures that now exist. This will allow organisations that are Integrity Ready (trademark Susanne Moore 2000-2011) to tap into so far un-recognised “female” thinking attributes for business  management.
Title: Dealing with the Boys Club
Description: Project management can be affected by the quality of the project manager’s organisation and their management. The integrity of the organisation and its competency affect both project outcomes and the team members involved. Traditional methods of management can incorporate a number of negative influences and one of these is the ‘Boys Club’ mentality and it will have an impact on management decisions.

Title: Gender Economics
Description: In the gender economy, we have reduced portions of the population to passive consumers, making indirect economic input rather than direct input. Stabilising the balance between indirect and direct impact has a role developing our
economic future.

Title: Changing Women
Description: Harness and embrace gender diversity in your organization. Discover ways to shift the traditional paradigms of business and explore positive strategies to attract the best resources. If your organization wants to employ and retain talented women and promote female leadership then Changing Women is for you.

My Expertise

  • Industries: Corporate Leadership, Information Technology and Services, Philanthropy, Management Consulting, Women, IT Services/Consulting, Program Development, Think Tanks, Human Resources
  • Topics: Integrity in Management – bringing peak performance to business by understanding the issues of social change such as social responsibility, Gender Economics – understanding the value proposition of utlising women as business drivers not business users, Corporate leadership – exploring the prospect of new business paradigms for the changing world, Project Management, Business Transformation, Women in Business, Leadership, Changing Women, Project and Portfolio Management

Susanne interviewed by international professional network “Globiles”


Globiles Spotlight: Susanne Moore talks gender economics

December 01 Madrid & Central Spain

Globiles Spotlight is the feature where we give our most interesting and vocal members a stage on which to shine.

This month’s member, Susanne Moore, is “ a global citizen, consultant and entrepreneur “ she also manages the blog- http://changingwomen.org.

Here, she talks to us about gender roles in today’s professional environment.

– Interview by Andrea Maltman

 G: You created the website “Changing Women” – can you summarize what exactly you feel needs changing regarding the image of modern women?

S: the questions around gender equality and gender change are big subjects and the approach for Changing Women is to keep it simple, focusing on “the changing woman”.

The aim is to promote positive images of real women whose bodies and minds change during the course of their life experiences.

G: Why do you feel you are the one to do this shifting?

S: Probably the best answer here would be because I can.  I am an observer and strategist, so I have observed a great many things over the years.

I have more tolerance for people and I think that will help me to be a change agent on a global scale.

I have seen and done what works and what doesn’t work and I have begun to understand why society is the way that it is.

G: Globiles is about professional life and social mobility on a global/international scale. Do you think men and women truly enjoy equal access to these two experiences?

S: I think the degree of equality here varies depending on a couple of factors:  First, what country or cultural restrictions are imposed on you, what restrictions you impose on yourself and finally, what restrictions are imposed on you by others.

In short, I don’t think that we can yet say that men and women enjoy equal access to professional achievement or social mobility.

 G: In your blog you discuss the term of gender economics, what role does this concept play in business and professional life?

S: Gender Economics is a term that I am using to describe economies built around gender consumption.

It is an important aspect of our social and business climate today and certainly very important as we move into the future.

In the gender economy, we have reduced portions of the population to passive consumers, making indirect economic input rather than direct input.  Stabilising the balance between indirect and direct impact has a role developing our economic future.

G: What advice would you give to women who want to scale the heights of their corporate or business environment?

S: Be true to yourself and try to do the work that you want to do.  Once you are in the corporate environment, learn how the game is played.  Understand the politics of climbing the ladder and be wary of people that want you to fail.

Above all, don’t apologise for being a female! But do try to harness some of the traits that assist men in business-promoting yourself, speaking in solutions not complaints and not taking business dealings personally.

G: Once there, do you believe there is camaraderie amongst the ‘sisterhood’, or a tendency to join the boys club, as it were.

S: Unfortunately I don’t think that this is the norm in the same way as it is for men.  Men build strong networks, and compete head to head for promotion using the traditional “old boys” network, whereas in my experience, women seem to spend time competing against each other instead of working together.

It is such a shame because if they used their “woman-ness” they would know that  the greatest assets that they have is compassion, intuition, the ability to work as a team and support each other.

The good news is that I think this trend is slowly changing, but it really needs to be addressed at school while girls are developing.  Teach them to be happy with the self instead of looking outside of themselves for validation, working on self esteem will help them later in the workplace.

G: In your experience, have you found professional dealings to be easier with women or men?

S: I have mostly worked in male environments, construction and then Information Technology so I am used to working with men and find them to be easier than women.

I think that men are less complicated in the workplace and, as I said in the previous question, once you understand the game you know how to deal with it.

The absolute worst scenario is when another female tries to manipulate the men around you.  Men are, in my experience, easily distracted by a beautiful woman, and often don’t pick up on the subtle manipulations and put downs of other women

I would say that every time I have seen this behaviour, the company, or the men in  question have come off second best because they have made decisions that are not based on sound judgement.

G: As well as your writing and commentary on your website and blog, you are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about you business ventures and projects.

S: Since closing my consulting company in 2010 I have been doing lots of different projects.  I helped my eldest daughter develop her range of beauty products, Alli’s Stuff, and sell these through my lifestyle portal http://inthebushatthebeach.com

I am also consolidating my Integrity Management Methodology which I wrote in 1997, http://integritymanagementmethodology.wordpress.com

I hope to work within a specific niche, which will look at imbedding integrity and improving business performance by linking environmental responsibility, cultural sensitivity, gender, and the development of new paradigms for business management.

 G: You are also an accomplished public speaker, which subjects are you most passionate about?

S: I love talking about equality and integrity in business.  I have also spoken on subjects like outsourcing, project management, leadership and managing diversity.

I have been well known as a International Leader in the field of project management and have spoken many times on that subject.

Lastly my most recent passion is about Changing Women and speaking about the ways that the Changing Woman can help to change the world by harnessing their own inner power and strength.  This is just so important and something that I am extremely passionate about.

If you’d like to know more about Susanne, contact her on Globiles or check out her websites:

http://changingwomen.org

https://susannemoore.wordpress.com

Globiles is “A community of the global and mobile, sharing insights and contacts online and offline”