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Creating a diverse and inclusive culture at Sage

Category: diversity and inclusion, female leaders, mentorship, diverse culture, technologies, female leader, inclusion and equality, tech, Careers in Tech, sage, Race, Ethnicity & Heritage, inclusion, culture, gender, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, Inclusive, Digital Inclusion, Diversity and inclusion networks, technology, Mentoring, Gender Balance, Inclusive culture, diverse and inclusive workplace, Finance, Active Inclusion, accountancy, accounting, cultural

Diversity and Inclusion

This piece from the Wall Street Journal gives some great insight into the challenges we all face in building a diverse workforce. But despite these challenges, I believe that companies must proactively create an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and is able to bring their true self to work.

Diversity is made up of many dimensions, all of which are critical to setting the right environment together with an inclusive culture.

This journey starts with hiring and extends through to how people feel once they have joined an organisation, and long into their career. How to access a diverse pool of candidates is of course the starting point, and a lot of this is about being prepared to spend more time on the recruitment process. Just hiring from the same pools of talent, the same universities and recruiters is unlikely to yield different results. We must work harder to find those people who don’t have the advantage of a strong network or privileged background. 

For example, like many companies, Sage has a roughly 50/50 split overall in terms of gender balance however this decreases in regard to female leadership as you look at the senior team. We have lots of initiatives in place, including an extensive mentoring programme, return to work support and flexible working. All of these things have a positive impact but an incremental one. My view is that the one area that makes the single biggest impact is Sponsorship.

Sponsorship is different from mentoring, it is about investing in the success of the sponsee, helping them overcome barriers, giving them a voice and being an advocate for their progression in the organisation. I look for leaders and teams who support people when they are struggling and provide psychological safety. That’s the culture I want to create, and I think this type of sponsorship is a great way to give a more diverse group of talent the support to progress to the top.

I believe that through sponsoring talent we will see sustained change. No one wants to progress or indeed be denied progression just because of their gender, race or sexual orientation. And no one should feel that they need to be more like someone else, they should be themselves. One of the most important things that a CEO can do is create a culture where all colleagues can flourish and bring the best versions of themselves to work.

Steve Hare

Steve Hare

Chief Executive Officer at Sage
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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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