More powerful stories from our panels kicked off the fifth panel on Day 1 of the May DIAL Global Summit on Inclusive Leadership. Lead by Paul Gerrard (campaigns & public affairs director / board director — Co-ops UK), he was joined by Philip Hoggarth (CEO Communisis/president OSG Europe — Communisis), Nicola Morris (managing director — ISS Facility Services UK) and Kari Daniels (non executive director — Topps Tiles).
Nicola spoke with passion about the importance of ERGs — highlighting the impact they can have citing the fact ISS has a national menopause manifesto which was written by the ERG members. She pointed out how crucial it is to show your true self at work as a leader, her personal and professional vulnerabilities, and how much it matters to her that she helps people be seen.
Kari explained the importance of examining company legacy and how it can negatively impact certain employees, and if organisations can look at what simple changes they can make, often those that have simply not been identified as problematic before, then changes can be profound.
Phil spoke openly about the challenges of looking at “blockers” into his company’s D&I development. He mentioned the positive thing for him is that many current employees don’t want to leave, and there is little opportunity to create new roles. He also emphasised the importance of white, males who have been the traditional work force for him to date, not feeling left behind and overlooked.
Kari commented on recent Tesco Ireland surveys about the happiness of the workforce, which was then reflected in the performance of the organisation, stressing both the importance of inclusivity to business and finance, as well as the importance of measuring data.
Role modelling as leaders was also covered, with Kari illustrating how it’s crucial she can be seen to prioritise key family events in order to allow employees to be able to do the same.
Phil echoed this, stressing leaders showing their personal needs can set the tone for the teams they head up.
Nicola spoke of the importance of leaving a legacy, and that she’s delighted her company has healthy numbers because she has a healthy happy workforce.
Phil told the gathered audience that the answer to business problems are in the business itself and leaders need to look at people who make it work on the ground and tap into their experiences.