Making Inclusivity a Permanent Change, Not a Marketing Trend 

businesswomen having a meeting

By Fiona Wylie

Redefining Women in Leadership in the Modern World 

Inclusivity isn’t just a value – it’s a pivotal force that drives innovation and organisational success. Notably, including women in leadership embodies a transformative power that redefines traditional business practices and leadership models.  

We see many articles, trends and campaigns surrounding Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, etc., but where does it go beyond this?  

Why does it stop as a trend and not as part of transformative change? ‘Women in Leadership’, celebrating women, their capabilities, and inclusivity, should be a constant, our new normal, and not something we address yearly. 

Inclusivity is more than just ticking a box. Did you know 36% of people have boycotted a brand because of issues with diversity and representation? And this is on the rise.  

We asked Fiona Wylie for her input on inclusivity. Fiona leads the way for inclusivity in the workplace, ensuring everyone has a place, a safe space, and a chance to lead. Brand Champions hosted Champion Conversations at the Marylebone Hotel earlier this year. This wasn’t your ordinary industry meet-up; it brought together some of the brightest minds from Travel, Women’s Health, and more for a day filled with talks, workshops, and networking. The day aimed to provide genuine, actionable insights on how to make industry more equitable for everyone. 

Beyond the Buzzword: True Inclusivity in Action 

To make inclusivity part of our everyday business, we must do more than just talk about it. It starts with our leaders making a genuine commitment. By weaving inclusivity into every part of our company, we turn what’s often seen as a yearly goal into a normal, everyday practice. This is how we make it stick and make it a habit. 

Business owners and current leaders must support and actively participate in diversity and inclusion efforts, including: setting clear diversity goals, allocating resources to achieve them, and holding leaders accountable for results. These commitments must be integrated into all aspects of your organisation’s strategy and communicated transparently to all stakeholders. 

Furthermore, businesses can establish inclusivity by redesigning their hiring and promotion processes to eliminate bias and broaden the pool of candidates. It may involve implementing structured interviews, leveraging diverse hiring panels, and establishing mentorship programmes to support women and underrepresented groups. Additionally, offering flexible working conditions and family-friendly policies can help retain high-calibre female talent and support their progression into leadership roles. When Fiona started Brand Champions, it was because of her negative experiences navigating work after maternity leave. She vowed that every woman or parent would not struggle to fit work around their families, wouldn’t leave a job because of no flexibility, or would not be considered for promotion roles due to family commitments.  

Fiona ensures Brand Champions stick to this by operating core working hours which allows the team to do personal errands around client meetings.  Client meetings only run within those core hours unless there are exceptional circumstances, in which case people aren’t expected to be there. The team has the mentality of helping each other out, it’s not a competition in any way it’s making sure we offer the highest level of services for clients whilst having time for personal demands.  

Your company should also concentrate on creating an inclusive culture beyond the numbers. This includes regular training on unconscious bias, building teams with diverse individuals who can bring varied perspectives to the table, and fostering an environment where all employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas. By making these practices a core part of their business strategy, companies enhance their reputation and operational performance and pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable future in the business world. 

This was one of the driving reasons Fiona held the Brand Champions Spring Gathering; she’s demonstrating the change businesses need by helping others become aware and talk about it.  

The Power of Inclusive Leadership 

Inclusive leadership involves seeking out and valuing diverse perspectives to foster a collaborative workplace. It cultivates belonging and respect and enhances problem-solving capabilities, which boosts morale, engagement, retention rates, and productivity.  

Studies show that organisations with inclusive cultures are more likely to meet financial targets, be high-performing, innovative, agile, and achieve better business outcomes. 

One study by Deloitte, titled “The Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership,” outlines how inclusive leaders drive performance and create competitive advantages. They present compelling statistics illustrating that organisations with inclusive cultures are: 

  • Twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets. 
  • Three times as likely to be high-performing. 
  • Six times more likely to be innovative and agile. 
  • Eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes. 

So, isn’t it about time you made inclusivity a norm in your business? 

It’s about making small, but impactful changes. Remember, you can’t change the world for everyone but you can change it for one person. 

About the Author

fiona Wylie Brand Champions is a strategic marketing consultancy led by Fiona Wylie, who launched the firm inspired by her experiences navigating work after maternity leave. Their team has a combined 200 years of expertise in the Travel and Pharmaceutical industries.  

Brand Champions is adept at solving complex marketing problems – known for their responsive “SOS” support; Brand Champions provides flexible, swift marketing solutions that are custom-fit to the dynamic needs of their clients. They excel in crafting strategies that enhance brand visibility, foster trust, and stimulate growth under deadlines and projects. Beyond their marketing expertise, Brand Champions is committed to making a positive social impact, with a particular focus on mental health. The consultancy supports flexibility, inclusivity and women’s mental health initiatives. 

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