The importance of diverse leadership

By Miya McKoy, year 10 student, University of Birmingham School 

In a world where change happens so rapidly, how important is diverse leadership? My personal stance is that it is very important. Where there is no role model or a leader from similar background, the motivation to work to the best of your ability can only go two ways; motivation to break the difficulties imposed by traditional patriarchal business, or demotivation because it seems impossible to reach the top level in a working environment.

Having a leadership team with one gender or race creates ethnic and cultural boundaries for team members. Team members can made to feel isolated due to the fact that they have nothing in common and cannot relate to one another.

Giving opportunities to others can improve the creativity of any board room. A good example of this is the common analogy of if everyone was the same, how would the world be? And the general answer returned is ‘boring’. That’s due to the fact that we don’t have knowledge of everything; it’s harder for us as individuals to comprehend such complex information about different cultural traditions.

In leadership, women are underrepresented. With topics such as the gender pay gap coming under close scrutiny by the media, we are starting to see changes regarding the issue. I believe this is a step in the right direction. Another factor has been the recruiting policies that companies have used in the past. Interviews where women have been asked inappropriate questions such as if they are having a child used to be common and may have impacted upon the makeup of boards today.

I do believe the world has been moving towards diversity, and it will continue to do so. One day, the boardroom won’t be filled with the same types of people from one background or gender but filled with multiple cultures gender and backgrounds. However the timing all depends on the awareness raised today. It could be the difference between 10 years or 30 years’ time.