In order for organisations to thrive in an ever-changing business landscape, it is essential that they possess the ability to adapt and change quickly. This is where transformation leadership can be extremely beneficial.
Transformation leadership is a leadership style that focuses on leading change within an organisation to achieve specific goals. Transformation leaders are typically forward-thinking and have the ability to see the big picture, which allows them to develop strategies and plans that will help their organisations achieve their goals.Read More
This glossary provides definitions for key terms related to gender identity and sexual orientation. These terms are important for understanding the complex landscape of gender and sexuality.
Gender identity is the gender that a person sees themselves as. This can be different from the gender a person is assigned at birth. Sexual orientation is who a person is attracted to emotionally, romantically, and/or sexually.
There is a lot of diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community. This glossary provides definitions for some of the most common gender identities and sexual orientations. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but it can provide a starting point for further exploration.
Please note some of the words and phrases illustrated below are considered offensive or extremely problematic to many.Read More
Pride month is approaching fast, we are almost halfway through 2022 and this is the time where we will start to see organisation change their logos on social media to include the ‘rainbow’ and put out statements of support for Queer and LGBTQIA+ people – we see it every year, but do we stop to consider if it is authentic or simply ‘pinkwashing’Read More
It cannot escape any of us in regard to the tragic and inhumane scenes unfolding in Ukraine right now from the war instigated by Russia’s President Putin. The loss of life, the loss of culture, and people in their millions being displaced from their homes and country.Read More
Our identity, how we describe ourselves, the things we are proud about from our heritage and culture – all are important to us as individuals.
I am proudly a left-hander. It’s something I have been very conscious of for most of my life, having grown up in a world designed by right-handed people, for right-handed people.Read More
We want to know what our colleagues and staff think of our organisation. No doubt we are carrying out our Employee Engagement Surveys on an annual basis and getting somewhat useful information back – but are we really getting the insights we need to understand our culture and pulse of our organisation
Let us examine some of the pitfalls that organisations often fall into that limit the effectiveness of the survey and data that is fed back.Read More
Henry works with generations in the workforce to help them become more productive and effective. She gives us an overview of the generations, busts some myths and provides us with some hacks for getting the best out of every generation in the workforce.
Stereotyping occurs across all generations, and all involve myths, such as someone being ‘being past your sell by date’, or younger people ‘having no experience’. The challenge with myths is that we all have them and need to work to quell them and instead learn more about each other and accept and celebrate differences and variations.
Henry is an intergenerational specialist and although she does not like the use of labels, when working with organisations she uses them as parameters to discuss how the world has changed. As part of this she explains there are periodic factors and cohort factors that influence generations differently. She explains a periodic factor is a big world event, such as COVID, that impacts everyone but in different ways, depending on age. As we age we become more experienced emotionally intelligent amd are affected by events in different ways then we would have been in earlier life. The cohort factor impacts generations or part of a generation and could be something that other generations may not even be aware of, or have very little interest in, i.e. gaming or snapchat. By breaking things down in this way it helps Henry and the organisations she works with look at specific areas where they may be challenges within the workforce. (influencers)
In our ever-advancing world it is very easy to become addicted to social media and Henry explains that this may be down to the relationships and community they create. Older generations tend to have two key communities, friends/family and the workplace. For younger people their second community is their social media feed, so they don’t build the same community that maybe older generations would have done at their age. They therefore do not have the same connection or loyalty within their role. The younger generations tend to make decisions based on money and Henry says this is not a great surprise, especially considering that it was people aged between 16-24 that made up the highest category of furloughed or lost jobs during COVID. Organisations need to be aware they are financially led and will make a career move based on this, but Henry says this should be seen as an opportunity for talent acquisition, seeing it as a chance to perhaps win their talent back at a later stage. Older generations often judge this ‘jumping ship’ mentality negatively, rather than understanding the reasoning behind it. It costs 5 to 7xs more to find someone new rather than retain current talent, but we know jobs are no longer for life, so Henry works with organisations to maximise how long each employee will stay in a role, which will save them money. She says organisations need to be aware of how the world has changed and become proactive, viewing retention as their responsibility.
Since COVID there are two tiers of workers, those that need to go into work to do their work and the other are hybrid and remote working. Whist globally the majority of the workforce do still attend a formal work setting, there is conflict over whether younger generations want to return to the office at all and whether working from home negatively impacts their career trajectory and mental health. With language changing so quickly and new words constantly being introduced, Henry says the younger generation still need to the chance to communicate and express themselves in a face-to-face setting effectively.
Henry is passionate about ageism at both ends of the spectrum. Organisations still see older generations as being ‘past it’, or having less to offer, rather than seeing the experience that would be lost if they leave/retire and younger generations, who are viewed as having less to offer, tend to be the first ones to be let go during any troubling times. She wants everyone to be viewed as individuals and calls for us to view work as a family, which will ebb and flow but where everyone is appreciated for who they are, not judged on age etc. Without this we run the risk of it being transactional.
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Henry Rose Lee
Khakan always felt "different", on the peripheral of any circle - family, social, political or otherwise. With a background is in Health & Social Care he is acutely aware of what it means to be treated differently when from a more marginalised community.
Khakan felt, even from a young age that he did not really fit in. He felt different but was not able to label it. He felt that he wasn’t masculine enough to fit in with boys and stood out for liking to play with dolls and what were perceived as typically feminine games. He also didn’t fit in with girls as at school as they didn’t like to mix with boys.
Khakan was born and bred in the Midlands, but comes from south Asian heritage and here he also struggled as he didn’t feel Muslim enough or south Asian enough. This manifested into him always feeling like the outsider and being marked as different, because it was picked up in every facet of his life from not only his sexual orientation and gender identity, but also how he presented culturally and with his ethnicity. He didn’t quite fit in to any group and this made him shy and introverted.
Khakan explains that the history of Islam is quite progressive, so although his family adhered to certain Muslim traditions, they were quite liberal. Growing up he had to learn how to integrate this into his life, whilst also trying to fit in with British culture. Despite being quite liberal there are still taboo subjects and members of Khakan’s family do not accept that he is gay. Growing up feeling unable to express himself he realised he needed to assert his personality and identity, something he found possible after moving away to London. It was once he returned home that he felt confident enough to come out to his mum after this, something that he had been dreading, especially with the cultural dynamics. His mum was very accepting, but his dad had a different attitude and was quite homophobic. Khakan now realises much of the reason they clashed was because they share many of the same characteristics. His father was also an activist trying to join the Asian and British communities and Khakan is following in these footsteps but also looking at LGBT equality in the Asian community.
Growing up his family had very high expectations of him, especially being youngest of 7 and this expectation caused him to have a lot of conflicting questions as he tried to work out if he was gay, bisexual etc and this impacted his mental health. He experienced a lot of religious guilt, with a level of oppression coming from each side, politically, socially & family. He struggled to find anyone to talk to – especially around such taboo subjects. It took him a long term to come to terms with who he was.
In his relationship with his partner, Khakan has seen the evolution of gay rights, which are now recognised and validated by the world. Early on in their relationship he did not feel comfortable to be open at work. A turning point for him was attending an Aids Awareness Workshop, one of other attendees said to him that she didn’t understand gay people – at the time he didn’t have the confidence to respond, but this prompted him to realise that he needed to speak up as her comments made him so angry.
Khakan wishes people had confidence to be who they need and want to be. Within his work in health & social care they are seeing more anxiety and depression being experienced by young people, than ever before, which could be as a result of COVID. He says we all need to be mindful of everyone’s mental health pressures as everyone has different aspects in their lives to contend with. He says if we can introduce respect and inclusivity so that everyone can be accepted and loved for who they are then we would hopefully see lower mental health issues. He believes everyone will have felt on the periphery at some point in our lives and this makes you re-think life and how you navigate through it.
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Finding A Voice
Esi is an advocate for disability inclusion in the workplace and longs for a world where disabled people are treated equitably in every cornerstone of life and that their disability is recognised and celebrated, and feel that they belong and are valued.
Status quo about what being welcome and valued should be, inclusion is a feeling that comes from within, so if we don’t feel included it is because what society or a specific organisation/business are doing does not help us feel included. They should be creating an environment that is open to everyone – to Esi it should feel like a breath of fresh air, rather than for her, as a wheelchair user having to mitigate all of the barriers she is confronted with.
Attitude barriers are compounding the barriers for disabled people and these tend to be based on our internalised biases. We have opinions on disabilities and therefore what disabled people can achieve and disabled people often internalise this, based on the medias portrayal and what they have been taught growing up have their own internalised biases and internalised ‘abalisims’. Esi believes we need to support everyone to make them feel that they belong and that they are equal with that belonging.
Esi explains when accessibility is being designed it is not often thought through in practical terms, many treat it as a ‘tick box’ exercise, where they have to meet legal requirements and no further. She has seen accessible toilets blocked by a table in a restaurant, so in order to use diners had to be moved. To avoid these common mistakes organisations need to engage with people with the lived experience because they can support you to ensure that it is considered from every angle and make the experience equal to that of a non-disabled person.
Everyday tasks cause Esi unseen challenges, or delays that an able bodied person would not consider i.e. having to wait to be let through at a ticket barrier, no dropped curbs resulting in needing to find alternative routes, this can add a huge amount of time on a journey, often resulting, Esi explains in her arriving late and dishevelled to a meeting/event and impacting how she is perceived and often reinforcing an unconscious bias that it’s a pain to get a wheelchair user to a venue. This creates a barrier up for disabled people in everyday activities.
Esi feels that often people overcompensate for the fact she’s a wheelchair user, which makes it harder for her to feel as though she is able to engage in conversations or relax at events. Countless times in a day she will need to educate people on different elements of her life – i.e how she is able to handshake and that she does not want to ‘fist bump’. She explains this as an invisible backpack of barriers, causing exhaustion and impacting her desire to repeat the activity, which can result in less opportunities/work/socialising.
The Government launched a National Disability Strategy in September, but Esi explains there was no real understanding of the barriers faced by the disabled community, after only interviewing 16 disabled people were interviewed as a supposed representation of the UK. So from the beginning the strategy was set to fail. There is an argument that this was deliberate, a strategic move to say they are going to do something, without needing to. Esi’s concern is that this further embeds in society that disabled people are not as important as’…….’ So if the government are not doing anything substantial, so the issues/barriers can’t be too bad.
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