This morning I read an article about the state ethnicity of CEO’s in the UK FT100 companies. The article was in the Telegraph an it stated that although some progress has been made in the area of gender stakes i.e. the number of women at CEO level has increased, there are less people from ethnic groups becoming CEOs. In truth this number has declined.
So this made me consider the importance of ensuring that we do not miss out on the excellent talent available for our businesses and our personal development just because someone may be from a different ethnic group. It would appear, that even though we know that other ethnic groups are skilled and talented, somehow this is not going through to our willingness or belief that they are able to do the job and higher levels. I think this such a shame both for business as a whole and for our Nation.
When you consider all of the resources that have gone into the education, training and development of people from ethnic groups in the UK and the clearly well proven excellent educational results of many from non-white backgrounds, but some organisations are failing our Nation by refusing to recognise this and recruit appropriately. What does that still tell is about decision making at this level? I’ll let you answer that yourselves.
If you’re a small or medium size business owner/manager, you can learn immensely from the mistakes of larger corporates, just as they can from smaller businesses. In this case it is matter of looking at the wider market and ensuring that we are not using tunnel vision in our recruitment and selection. Ensuring that we are not being governed by our own limited by out of date beliefs and expectations; that we are not ignoring the facts and realities of the 21st Century.
The best person should be the one that is appointed and supported to any job and a CEO position is no different. It should be the best mind, the best skills, ability, knowledge and potential not the ethnicity, culture or skin colour. The ideas, thinking and perceptions of people who are different from ourselves and those that come from a different background offers us the opportunity to learn and to see things from a more expanded perspective. And more importantly for any business, it likely to include the perspective and perceptions of many of those we now want to engage as customers.
Being more open in this way can help us to provide a service, whatever it may be that we are offering, that is more in line with our prospective customers and keep us ahead of the game. Our customers are looking to see themselves in our businesses, if they cannot, they are less likely to engage or buy from us.
In fact, I believe that we should all be looking to find more creative ways to broaden our net when it comes to finding the right staff or contractors. If we continually fish in the same pool, we will only get much of the same and our ability to grow and stay ahead of our competitors will be diminished.
So when I ask the question ‘Are you missing out on talent?’ I’m thinking not only about CEO and other senior level managers, but all level of staff and those businesses who we purchase our goods and services from and indeed, who we well to.
Here is a link to the Telegraph article that go me thinking along these lines this morning.