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#IWD2021 Spotlight Series #10 - Mark Okes Voysey

From challenge comes change.

As part of our ongoing International Women’s Day campaign, we are publishing a series of spotlight videos and interviews which explore the candid views and experiences of members of our team, looking at the factors they feel contribute to gender bias, and to urge all women, and men, to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge an inclusive world.

In this Spotlight we talk to Mark Okes-Voysey, COO of Hassans Group and CEO of our fiduciary arm, Line Group.

#ChooseToChallenge

This year’s International Women’ Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. How can workplaces create a culture where people feel confident calling out gendered assumptions and biases?

When dealing with change, it boils down to communication.  Senior management should discuss the benefits of a diverse workforce as well as the specific challenges facing women, but also the solutions to these (there are a vast array of measures that can be taken).  It is incumbent on Senior management to take the necessary steps to adopt a zero-tolerance policy to any gender bias and for it to form an integral part of their culture.  Let’s not forget that engaging the mind is the first step towards changing behaviours.  With this at the core of the business, people will be able to call out any problem areas confident that management are actively working towards creating an environment where all are valued and supported equally.

At the end of the day, this is a matter that will require strong leadership…sometimes from above but also from up and comers from within the ranks (remember, leadership and management are different things). Whoever is leading, needs to focus communications around two issues which will be key to unlocking bias. 1. The value to the business (from all stakeholders’ perspectives) of gender diversity and 2. Articulating the real challenges faced by women as well as the solutions in place.

Research shows that when women are well represented at the top, companies are 50 percent more likely to outperform their competitors. What steps can businesses take to address the challenges women are facing?

How have things in the workplace changed from the beginning of your career to now?

Many thanks to Mark for taking part.

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