Having an inclusive and non-prejudicial mentality is key for doing business overseas, says Harry Gaskelly, chairman of the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei).
Gaskelly, a managing partner at professional services firm Ernst and Young’s advisory practice, was speaking at an event, ‘The End of all Silos’, hosted by enei at the House of Lords yesterday [21 June], attended by Recruiter.
He told the crowd that while “cunning and self-protection” would not be qualities we would praise in a business leader in the UK – “at least not openly”, he adds – in other cultures such as the Middle East these would be highly prized.
Avoiding making value judgements about other people is thus key to ensuring that UK business is able to operate across physical and cultural national borders.
He also added one plea to the attendees, that they “find someone who’s different to you and sponsor them”, noting that in his career he had been sponsored by people similar to himself, and that the research shows this is indeed the most common path.
Hosting the event, Lord Dennis Stevenson said that “the progress in achieving equality in certain sectors of our society has been painfully slow”.
He added that “fundamental to Lord Davies [the report on boardroom equality launched last year] was a voluntary approach” – although as recruiter.co.uk
reported earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to rule out mandatory quotas
Enei chief executive Denise Keating says: “We are now clearly focused on ending a silos approach to diversity which is underpinned by our six strategic themes of agile working, unconscious bias, workforce representation, the global marketplace, inclusive leadership and access to opportunities.”