By Kerryn Richardson, UN Women NC Australia Global Executive MBA Scholarship recipient and current student in the University of Sydney Business School Global Executive MBA.
I recently completed my first module of the Global Executive MBA, ‘Reframing Leadership’ – exploring forms of leadership through philosophy, art, music, military, political and ethical perspectives. The experience was a fascinating and creative journey and reminded me of the need to step outside the boxes we live in and explore different approaches to get the most out of diversity and inclusion.
Why is diversity and inclusion important?
Equality is a fundamental human right; diversity and inclusion in practice is manifestation of full human potential.
There is clear evidence to show that diversity and inclusion creates positive outcomes:
- increased economic growth and productivity
- improved business and organisational excellence
- increased capacity for innovation, creativity and problem solving
- cohesive cultures able to tackle issues and wicked problems
- sustainable organisations marked by agility, resilience and prosperity.
These outcomes are benefits forward thinking, contemporary organisations and businesses strive for, to achieve success. Recognising that diversity and inclusion significantly enhances these benefits tells us it is a central driver for innovation and growth.
People are the greatest asset in any business. People enable delivery of outcomes through skills, thinking and creativity, connection and relatedness, to name a few important traits. It follows that business growth is linked to diversity of people. Inclusiveness enables teams to produce the best outcomes. Or to turn a phrase, ‘to serve the market one must employ the market’.
Foremost, I am committed to developing myself as a person and a leader. It is my vision to utilise my career to help people and the planet. The UN Women NC Australia Global Executive MBA Scholarship accelerates my ability to serve better outcomes.
I will be exposed to a new learning environment, people and experiences to fully drive diversity and inclusion in practice as well as other efforts in designing action to create benefits in my workplace, using a full spectrum of as many tools as I can acquire.
I will use the experience to:
- gain insight into my current leadership style
- improve my presence in the moment to be available to others
- link this learning to innovative business outcomes via a collaborative approach
- learn to drive a business model based on diversity and inclusion, collaboration, facilitating positive and productive organisational cultures
- assist other women in the workplace to unlock their own potential.
I believe it’s an exciting time to be a female leader. The 2017 International Women’s Day theme, ‘Be bold for change’, couldn’t be more appropriate. As leaders, we must be committed to development of new organisational styles that create the space for evolution to occur, and equity across roles and positions of leadership to become the norm.