There are certain things every new mother and father fervently wish upon their new-born daughter. A healthy, happy life, a childhood full of fun, love, laughter and learning. Teenage years packed with opportunity, discovery and encouragement, linking seamlessly into an adulthood in which ambitions are crushed by invisible barriers. Wait … what?

Exactly. It’s impossible to imagine any (decent) parent wishing for anything other than a life of fulfilment for their daughter. And yet, how many of those same fathers or mothers have exercised gender bias (consciously or unconsciously) in the workplace which has adversely affected someone else’s daughter, sister or mother’s career goals or salary progression. What would those same individuals have to say if they discovered their own close relations being held back, professionally or financially because of nothing other than their gender? ‘Call the employment lawyers; take them to the cleaners! There’s an injustice being done!’.

Creating a truly level playing field requires a conscious approach to inclusion. Unfortunately, gender bias is endemic in society and we are all guilty of it, whether we are imposing it on others or giving in to it with resigned acceptance. Naturally, this manifests itself in the workplace – in every workplace, to a greater or lesser extent – and at great{with}diversity we’ve made it our mission to help employers to consciously develop a better model of inclusion. Our expert team of psychologists have developed a unique range of questionnaires that focus on the perceived impact and importance of bias in the workplace, thereby enabling organisations to take a root and branch approach to enabling as well as inspiring diversity and inclusion, both in principle and in practice.

Uprooting gender bias

Like the roots of a hundred-year-old tree, gender bias is widespread and deep set. Stamping out overt discrimination has been, in relative terms, straightforward. Legislation and policy have underpinned change, and in turn have increased intolerance towards overt discrimination. The notion that there are ‘girls’ jobs’ and ‘boys’ jobs’ is sufficiently outdated that few people would say it out loud. It’s no longer legal to advertise a job with gender as selection criteria, nor to make decisions on pay or redundancy contingent on the same. That doesn’t mean the gender equality problem has been solved, though. Curiously, even the most rational, fair minded among us (regardless of our gender), still can’t help but adopt certain expectations or assumptions as regards the role of women and men in the workplace. That fleeting moment of surprise, for example, when the (female) Captain’s voice comes over the tannoy of an aircraft to instruct cabin crew to prepare for take-off. Likewise, the implicit acceptance of a woman’s choice to work part time (or not at all) compared with dogged insistence that a man doing the same must either be some sort of professional drop-out or frantically using every spare moment to apply for high-powered full-time jobs. Maybe we aren’t all guilty of this (or similar), but most of us probably are. Society has programmed us this way for so long, it’s not surprising that, in spite of technological and legislative advances that should make it easy for us to uproot gender inequality once and for all, many of the old deep-seated biases cling firmly on.

Of course, human existence depends on women having babies. There’s no way around that. However, it does not depend on women being paid less for the same work, being pigeon-holed into certain roles and side-lined from others. It does not depend on women staying at home beyond the very early infant stage, nor does it depend upon women adopting the vast majority of domestic responsibilities and making all the professional compromises. It does not preclude women from holding leadership positions or handling complex negotiations. Shared parental leave, gender pay reporting, flexible working (and all the technology which enables it), not to mention the increasing awareness of the economic and commercial benefit of diversity and inclusion; all these things and more should be sufficient to argue the case why women and men can play an equal part (and be paid in equal measure) in the organisational environment.

So, what is your business doing to promote the kind of diversity and inclusion that should prevail in today’s working world? What is it potentially doing – consciously or unconsciously – to block female progression or representation within its own four walls or even within the wider industry sector? What is it really like to be a female in your organisation’s culture? Or, for that matter, to be an enlightened male; one who would desperately like to take advantage of some of the modern working practices (even that phrase is cringe-worthy, come to think of it; the very suggestion that gender equality is newfangled!), but will be made to feel emasculated by doing so? You may have taken some positive steps to encourage diversity, but if you’ve never asked what inclusion feels like – or doesn’t feel like – in your organisation, you may be fixing only part of the problem, or indeed, the wrong problem. What’s for certain is that you won’t be maximising the potential of your workforce. By turning a blind eye to even the most minor gender bias transgressions, you could be closing the door on valuable skills, qualities and capabilities that a diverse team offers to a thriving business.

How great{with}diversity can help

At great{with}diversity our team of experts will partner with you to fully assess and audit how diversity and inclusion are working in practice, in every corner of your organisation. Our service is simple, hassle free and cost effective – we require nothing more than the email addresses and names of participating employees. We’ll deliver the questionnaire directly to their mobile, tablet or desktop, assimilate and analyse the resulting data, and provide you with clear feedback in the form of a detailed, prioritised and solution focused report (see our sample report), complete with our expert advice. The reports generated from our online questionnaire will provide deep dive analytics into engagement levels, zoning in on all or specified minority groups (including, but not restricted to, gender), and gaining their specific and honest feedback on what is (and is not) going on in your organisation. The insight you’ll gain will be instrumental in helping you to consciously build and maintain a culture of diversity and inclusion, whilst ensuring that your resources are directed towards meaningful and impactful change.

You’ll understand – better than you ever have before – exactly how diversity and inclusion (gender, race, age, disability and much more) lives and breathes through your organisation, and how you can make changes (big or small) that could make for a more inclusive workplace and improved employee engagement levels in every part of your business. All of which results in happier staff and greater discretionary effort, positively impacting key profit and loss factors such as absence rates, employee turnover, productivity and profitability.

We’re here to help you find out what’s at the heart of your business, from the people at the heart of your business. Making a conscious decision to build inclusion into the fabric of your business will make a measurable difference to your organisation’s success, your employees’ job satisfaction and your business reputation, as well as to important diversity causes in the wider environment.

For more information on how we can help you to consciously build upon your diversity and inclusion practices, visit or contact us directly.