As our world become more globalised the need to create an effective and diversified workplace is growing.
Whether that diversity be based on a ethnic or gender basis, it all adds up to creating a more effective and enriching place for people to work in.
The one concern I have always had about talking about building a diverse workplace is that it may seem like I feel guilty that I am not meeting some type of “diversity quota”.
That is the exact opposite of what I want to achieve as a business leader. I believe in empowering people to do incredible things. I don’t care if an idea came from a woman or a man or someone from a different culture to mine. It is ludicrous to discount the opinion of someone just because you think you are somehow superior.
At Enactus Leeds Met one of our biggest issues right now is that we have little to no international representation from international students at Leeds Met University. I sincerely believe that as a result we are lacking the crucial international awareness that could greatly enhance our projects.
In my opinion it appears to be a classic chicken and egg situation for us right now. Without any international students already involved in running a project, other international students will not be interested in joining.
Therefore how do we encourage that first international student to get involved in being a project leader?
For example one thought I recently had was that we could give an international student the role of international mentor in Enactus to give other international students the confidence that we want to see them succeed and develop their skills.
One thing we want to achieve at Enactus Leeds Met is to create a caring environment which allows everyone (regardless of gender or ethnicity) to flourish. One way I believe that we can achieve this goal is by giving team members plenty of autonomy that will give them the freedom to try new ideas out without fear of being reprimanded for their mistakes.
Some of the other goals I have to encourage diversity at Enactus Leeds Met are:
- To actively talk with our International Officer at Leeds Met SU on a regular basis and get them to promote interesting opportunities to the international student community at Leeds Met University
- To utilise the Enactus UK alumni network and invite an equal number of men and women (of any religion, race or nationality) to talk to our project teams every month.
- To investigate the possibility of setting up a mentorship network with Enactus UK Alumni (again from either gender and from any nationality, religion or race)
If you could change one thing about the way business values diversity, what would it be?