Seeing the positive impact of our work with clients is one of our key drivers. At WDI Consulting Limited, we pride ourselves on partnerships, combining our knowledge and expertise with our clients and creating extraordinary results.
We recently partnered with Elsevier delivering WDI’s Women’s Leadership Programme as a core component to Elsevier’s Developing Female Talent Programme 2020, which reached women in 11 countries. Elsevier continue to prioritise gender balance and inclusion as a strategic imperative. Awards recognising their leadership in this area include Best CEOs for Diversity 2021, Best Company for Diversity 2020, and Best Company for Women 2020.
The impact of the 2020 programme has been significant and we are delighted to be partnering again with Elsevier in 2021 for their Developing Talent For Gender Equity Programme.
‘As the impact of the Covid–19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 to 135.6 years.’ (World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2021)
Why? The pandemic has impacted women leaders significantly because of an amplified carer tax, that has created a regression in the progress to gender balance.
The ‘broken rung’ of the talent pipeline into executive roles is significant and especially alarming when you take an intersectional perspective. The significant under-representation of women of colour in senior leadership roles is only one such example.
Yet the business case for diverse talent and inclusive cultures has never been stronger, both economically and morally, so how do we overcome the barriers to change?
Being an inclusive leader is an aspiration for many, and we know is rarely something that ‘just happens’. In our work with teams and individuals developing inclusion, we often hear a strong desire and commitment to be inclusive, and concern or hesitancy about how to do it well – authentically, consistently, when you perhaps know there are difficult topics to consider and conversations to have.
It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in; can you remember a moment when you spoke up even when it felt risky, or when you said something which challenged the status quo? For most of us this requires us to actively #ChooseToChallenge.
As part of our experience in organisational change over the last 20 years, we have developed seven WDI change principles which align our approach. These principles underpin our consulting practice and inform how we coach individuals to effectively lead change.
Last month saw the launch of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Women in Diplomacy 2020-2021 programme. WDI Consulting are delighted to be in partnership with FCDO and DIT and to have designed and be facilitating this exciting online programme.
Now in its third year as a programme, the design has moved online to reflect the changing nature of the way we interact, and to provide greater flexibility without any loss of deep learning, skill development and connection across the European network. The programme is being delivered through interactive webinars, small group coaching, specific learning assignments and extensive 1:1 and group networking. Our visually striking workshop materials tap into the energy and engagement of the participants to lift the content and the learning from the page into each woman’s experience. After the Launch and first Module in December, the programme will continue through a total of six modules until March 2021.
After only a few interactions so far with this talented group of women Diplomats across Europe, we have experienced a commitment to their own deep learning as leaders as well as the culture they are building to unlock potential talent and new ideas. We are already looking forward to supporting the participants extend the depth and breadth of their learning.
We launched our online Women’s Leadership Programme in 2020 and are proud to have already delivered the programme to women leaders in 13 countries and across sectors. We have been reflecting on the challenges we all faced in 2020 and how we can best support organisations to achieve a vision of 2021 that sees them returning Back to Better.
If gender equality remains a priority for your organisation in 2021, we ask you to take a few minutes to watch our Back to Better video and hear our thoughts on how you can ensure you continue to attract, retain and develop your female talent.
In this article Paul Lawrenson, Global Talent Leader at Expedia Group shares the experience of his coaching journey and how he has benefited from his partnership with WDI.
Paul views coaching as one of the key differentiating factors in securing two significant promotions, retaining his work/ life balance and continuing to thrive as an authentic leader.
His leadership impact is visible in last year’s annual employee engagement scores where Paul’s team rated the highest. He believes this was aided by “not shielding them from the situation around them, and enabling and empowering them to do great work.”
However, as he says, this hasn’t always been the case.
“In the past I used to over plan for literally every single conversation. I wanted to have all the data, context and answers ahead of time; it was a sort of security blanket for me. I would show up as rigid, more focused on the process than building the relationships, and that really inhibited my ability to be fluid and have a free-flowing, high trust conversation.”
“As I reflect now, I realise I acted as though I did not trust my team to deliver – seeking to control and limit risks around their performance. I also recognise that Imposter syndrome was definitely a thing with me; I paid far too much attention to the things I wasn’t good at. However, through our coaching work, I now focus far more on my strengths and how I achieve the outcomes I want rather than worrying about one underdeveloped trait.”
Over a 2-year period, Paul had a series of coaching sessions with Lynn White, WDI and some of the development areas included:
In How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back (Amazon UK, US) authors Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith identify 12 habits that commonly hold women leaders back as they endeavour to advance to the next stage in their careers. This article provides a summary of those 12 habits, plus a list of powerful questions posed to you by myself and Lynn White, leadership expert and Principal Partner at WDI Consulting.
We hope this summary, and our questions, will help you to explore and unleash your full leadership potential, and the potential of your team and organisation.
We are pleased to share with you this article, featured in 'Financial Reporter'.
We would like to acknowledge Masthaven Bank for their vision and commitment and the women in the leadership team who are engaging with such energy in this programme.
We are excited to share this journey with you all.
We are so proud of the launch today of WDI's Women's Leadership Online Programme.
A huge thank you to the WDI team for making this vision a reality and enabling us to share our passion and expertise with so many.
If you would like to discuss this programme with us, please contact us - we are very proud of the content and would be delighted to speak with you about it.