The Lioness Legacy – a far-reaching impact on inclusion and diversity

Congratulations to The Lionesses!  Champions of Europe and bringing inclusion and diversity to the fore in the process.

Winning the Championships is no mean feat.  And it’s an even more substantive feat when you consider that the women in that team overcame many barriers that their male counterparts never had to in the game.

Surely the big question is what might be possible if everyone had the same opportunities and chances?  If there were no limits put in place, no barriers to achievement irrespective of who you are or where you are from.

I can say, from personal experience as a coach of my daughter’s football team (below), that many of those barriers are in place, sadly.  It’s better but far from perfect, it is not a level playing field by any stretch.  Ian Wright’s assertion that more needs to be done at grass roots level is spot on.

Diversity and inclusion - a lioness legacyInclusion and diversity is a hot topic right now, the amount of research that shows that teams and organisations benefit from people with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences is incredible, yet, conscious or subconsciously barriers remain.

Typically organisations that are diverse see far better creativity and innovation (https://innovationmanagement.se/2010/11/24/why-diversity-is-the-mother-of-creativity/) and significantly improved decision making (https://onlinemba.wsu.edu/blog/10-benefits-of-diversity-in-the-workplace).  These are not the only benefits by far, so why do businesses and organisations not do more?  Unconscious bias, societal pressures, stereotypes are some of the reasons cited.

That’s not to say they are not trying.  For example, we have a client that has indeed made great strides in regards to this with their middle management tier being extremely diverse, which is great.  But at the top of the organisation, it’s white, middle-aged men that dominate leadership roles.

There is no doubt, so much more needs to be done.  The result over the weekend and the story behind it both collectively and for each individual player should serve as springboard for change – not just in football but way beyond.

Here’s hoping it will.

To learn more about how we help organisations unlock their potential through diversity & inclusion – contact us on 01255 870735 or info@surveyintiative.co.uk