Adrian Adair IT & Digital
DIVERSITY AND ROLE MODELS | 5 MIN READ
Senior leaders should use their position to drive the gender diversity conversation
'Seeing is believing' is extremely powerful
Role models must be diverse if we’re to truly champion inclusion
Adrian Adair is Morson's chief operating officer and a Northern Power Women role model. With the Northern Power Women Future and Power List released this week, he speaks about the importance of role models in senior leadership and why they are vital to encourage women to realise their potential.
Operating in traditionally male-dominated sectors, the Morson Group has long been a vocal contributor to the gender diversity conversation. Women remain underrepresented in certain sectors, such as Tech and Engineering, and whilst progress is being made, there is still plenty of unlocked potential out there.
Regardless of the industry, we strive to attract the best talent for our customers, and a more diverse and rich pool is fundamental to that.
Dated stereotypes still depict engineering, and other technical careers, as a man’s domain; and this is exactly what we are challenging by showcasing the great female talent that we already have. The more we can do to increase the visibility of women in technical roles, the more likely a school leaver will consider STEM a viable career path.
The concept of ‘seeing is believing’ is extremely powerful, with studies showing that female students are more likely to choose particular careers when they’re exposed to situations and scenarios where they can imagine themselves in their shoes.
Our ‘Diversity in Engineering’ campaign uses video and written interviews to showcase inspirational females from all walks of life, who demonstrate the variety of roles available and the many different routes into engineering. By providing relatable role models to the younger generation to look up to, and take inspiration from, we hope to break down some of the barriers and encourage more women into the field; whilst also providing a positive platform to encourage career transitioning from females already working in other sectors.
Morson is also a Girls’ Network partner, having helped to launch their Salford division. The Girls’ Network empowers young females from the least advantaged communities to be ambitious and reach their aspirations by matching them with a positive female mentor, and some of the Morson team are now acting as mentors as part of the initiative.
Role models must also be diverse if we’re to truly champion inclusion and challenge the status quo. Within the Morson Group, we partner our mentees with like-minded senior mentors. Rather than being gender-based, these partnerships are carefully selected to deliver real collaboration, which within our own business, is helping us to improve female representation among our senior management teams, and in the future, at board level. Openly sharing and challenging your weaknesses and capitalising on your strengths, especially from a male perspective, is extremely powerful and works to break down any prejudice and barriers to success.
As senior leaders, it’s important that we use our position to drive the gender diversity conversation, to run campaigns, and to show that there are plenty of opportunities out there for women, particularly in industries such as tech, science, and engineering.