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15th May 2019 at 9:30 am

Embracing diversity - managing people who don't look like you

Full Day Seminar

Church House Conference Centre, London, Deans Yard, London, SW1P 3NZ

Those of you who watch SAS Who Dares Wins on Channel 4 will have noticed that this year, for the first time, they have allowed women to take part in the military selection reality show. Star of the show – Director of Staff – Ant Middleton claims many times that he will not discriminate between the men and the women on the course. And yet by episode 3 he has already accepted voluntary withdrawal from half of the women, standing by and accepting their armbands as they hand them over in tears. He listens to the stories of their struggles with sympathy but very little empathy. In contrast the struggling men are told they are doing a good job, they are taken to one side and told to let it all out and then move on and several times Ant reflects how the male recruits are “just like me at his age”.

This is not overt discrimination. And it’s not unconscious bias. This is an example of appointing in your own image. And we do it all the time, over and over again. Because it is easy to understand the motivations of those who are just like you. It is much simpler to manage someone with a similar background to yourself. And whilst the majority of people in positions of power are white, able-bodied men this pattern of appointing and promoting in our own image perpetuates this pattern.

In order to achieve real diversity in our major projects we have to be brave enough to face this reality and we have to learn how to overcome it.

This seminar aims to unpick some of the barriers to achieving diversity and to learn from those who are leading truly diverse teams.

Click here to view final authorised presentations - available to members only

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