She who shares her story of…
Achieving a Life Changing Dream…because of you!
My work filled a large part of my life for many years. From the moment I started in this male-dominated industry, I had ambitions to be a leader. I didn’t believe many years ago that you could have a family and a career – I thought you had to choose. I thought that if I slowed down to have a family, I would fall off the challenging path I was taking in my ambition to advance my career as a minority female leader. I thought that a little person or more would interfere with those plans. My decision to delay the start of preparing for a family, left my husband and I to undertake a journey of IVF while I maintained an Executive role in the industry.
I genuinely believe, that if it wasn’t for the fact that I worked for a leader who demonstrated inclusive traits such as:
- Having a visible commitment to make diversity and inclusion a personal priority, and
- Demonstrating an open mindset and deep curiosity about others, and listening without any judgement…
Then undertaking the IVF journey we did would not have been possible to have continued the years that it took, and I certainly would not have been able to deliver the outcomes I did at the same time in the role of which I held.
Without that support and understanding from my leader, we could have been left without having fulfilled the huge part of our heart that our little one fills today.
Could you imagine that your choice to be an inclusive leader in how you operate, could be a determining factor to someone in your team achieving a life changing dream?
Leaders who succeed in cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace are rewarded with better decisions, creative collaboration, motivated and engaged employees, and improved individual team and organisational performance. Employees are able to contribute fully to work practices and decision making and to bring their authentic self to work, while feeling like their efforts and achievements are acknowledged.
The lived experience of being included sees individuals feel empowered and given the opportunity to outperform as workplaces accommodate for unique needs and flexibility in a role that allows them to manage their work-life balance.
You can have a family and a career – you don’t have to choose…but having supportive and inclusive leaders that actively support diversity makes that more possible.
The Call to Action
Creating an inclusive workplace isn’t easy. It takes effort and hard work and no one can do it for you. Every leader needs to work hard at fostering a culture where everyone feels they can contribute in a meaningful and deliberate manner.
Leaders need to build a safe team environment where team members feel comfortable to be open and share without fear of any judgement. As a leader, you need to start with empathy and show your team members you care about them. Develop a safe team environment by setting ground rules that include being respectful to one another and genuinely listening when people speak. Importantly, develop an open mindset and consider what things are like from someone else’s perspective.
Creating this sort of environment can make your team members feel comfortable to share sensitive and important journeys in their life that they might try to tackle in isolation, or perhaps make serious and life changing decisions to not progress with that journey instead.