There is now strong evidence to show there is a positive correlation between diverse and inclusive leadership and business performance. Strong leadership on D & I is at the heart of most successful and sustainable companies. "The more diverse companies are better able to win top talent, and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, leading to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns" (McKinsey, Diversity Matters 2015).

For the past 8 years we have worked with the senior leadership team in many organisations to address D & I and ensure that recruiting, developing and retaining the best gives them a competitive edge. We have a track record in supporting organisations and coaching leaders to set up and implement creative, practical and effective solutions to leverage all the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

We have worked with organisations across the full D & I agenda (which typically includes race & ethnicity, gender, age, LGBT, and disability).

Our approach can be summarised in the diagram below:

1. Analysis
Diagnostic to look at the business drivers, barriers, enablers and engage the leadership
2. Awareness
Understanding the current picture particularly both unconscious and conscious bias.
3. Acceptance
Acknowledging what needs to change - individual, departmental /team and organisation
4. Action
Empower the leadership and put in place the 'road map' to bring about change.

Two specific areas we have focused on with clients are gender and race/ethnicity. The following outlines some of the work we have done in these two areas:

Gender Diversity

At The Success Group (TSG) we offer programmes to help individuals, management and organisations develop a commitment to gender to help grow, retain and promote high potential women. Our approach has been developed from our own research and working closely with talented women in many large and often global corporations.

Working with our Clients TSG has launched a series of programmes to address the gender challenge at all levels of an organisation. With these programmes as the cornerstone to an effective gender programme, TSG will always prefer to fully understand the current client challenges and then develop a customised approach to address these challenges.

Some of the commonly addressed issues we invariably tackle include:

  • Understanding and managing the underlying gender diversity prejudices and barriers to progress particularly unconscious bias
  • Actively identifying and managing key stakeholders
  • How gender fits within the broader diversity agenda?
  • How gender fits with the talent and business agenda?
  • Developing a fluency in a wider range of leadership styles

Gender Diversity Programmes

Understanding the Challenge

We strongly believe that to develop a highly effective gender strategy an organisation needs to first understand the current picture regarding the progress of women and the barriers they might be facing. We have developed a methodology to enable us to identify the following:

  • Diversity diagnostics
  • Developing the right strategy
  • Gender metrics

Female Executive 1:1 Coaching

Our heritage is based upon coaching both female and male executives and we continue to coach senior women in all aspects of professional development. Senior females are now finding that their responsibility as a female role model is an additional skill which we now help them embrace.

Coaching clinics

Coaching clinics offer an affordable option to enable women who are not executives but have been identified as high potential to benefit from personal coaching. This programme uniquely focuses on supporting and developing women to feel confident about achieving challenging career goals.

Effective Career Transitions

TSG offer a proven methodology for supporting both men and women as they change role within a company. A particular emphasis on preparing for and returning from maternity leave is addressed as part of this programme.

Development Programmes for High Potential Women

Years of experience from our individual, team and conscious leadership work have enabled TSG to identify the most critical skills required for women to lead successful teams. The shape of these programmes is determined by the agendas already being run by an organisation but would typically include:

  • Female Career Management Programme
    • Self Discovery and Leadership Style
    • Career Planning and Ownership
    • Making it Happen
    • 1:1 Coaching
  • Conscious Leadership
  • Skills Masterclasses eg...
    • Unconscious bias
    • Networking
    • Powerful communication
    • Rethinking the worklife balance
  • Two-Way Mentoring

Advocacy Programmes for Senior Management

Following significant research TSG strongly believe that organisations are now at a point where inviting male executives and management to understand the diversity challenge better is critical. This programme not only explains and debates why addressing gender balance is important but also develops skills to help understand the gender differences between men and women and how to work with those differences to support an individual's career development. The programme includes an exploration of the following:

  • Understanding the business imperative
  • Unconscious bias explored
  • Effective career conversations

Building Women's Business Networks

Many organisations today are grappling with the question 'How do I introduce a women's business network and will it really benefit our business?' Through working with several major organisations to address this question TSG are now experienced in developing the business case, exploring the objectives and implementing the most effective way of introducing a women's business network to a large global workforce.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss further your gender diversity journey.

Race & Ethnicity

For most organisations an important part of the D & I strategy includes the formation of a specific working group focusing on race and ethnicity. Although many of the leadership and change interventions developed to address gender and other diversity gaps have a beneficial impact on race and ethnicity, the challenges and barriers are different. As with our work on gender diversity we would advocate starting with understanding the challenge, raising awareness and engaging the workforce.

Some of the key questions and challenges are typically around the following:

  • Understanding and communicating the importance and benefits of having a more ethnically and racially diverse workforce
  • Understanding and addressing some of the barriers to advancement – such as a lack of visibility, exclusion from informal networks and leaders unwilling to take a risk on non-traditional candidates
  • How do we build a stronger and diverse pipeline of talent
  • Monitoring ethnicity and racial demographics in different international regions

Race and ethnicity programmes

The following are some of the programmes we have helped set up and deliver for our clients. We are happy to provide further information on any of these programmes and interventions:

  • Understanding the current reality – qualitative and quantitative diagnostics
  • Two-way mentoring – including training for mentors and mentees, as well as helping to set up the programmes and ensure an effective matching process
  • Building internal networks and encouraging access to both internal and external networks
  • Unconscious bias training

The Success Group Team

When we work with our clients we are able to draw on the experience and skills of all The Success Group partners, as well as a wide network of associates with very specialist expertise in specific areas of D & I. The D & I practice is led by The Success Group’s founding partner, Louise Barrett.

Our leadership development work has increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion, and in particular helping organisations create a diverse senior leadership team and a pipeline of talent to support this. This has led us to work with a number of large international companies helping them to understand the barriers and obstacles to creating a level playing for talent and putting in place interventions to create change - at the individual, team and organisational levels.

We have gained substantial gender diversity experience working with a FTSE 100 global organisation designing, implementing and embedding the gender diversity strategy. Key to the success of this project was getting the commitment and buy-in from the Board and Steering Committee – seeing the need to increase the number of women at senior levels as part of the talent agenda and a business imperative. Interventions included a Women’s Business Network, Two-Way Mentoring Programmes, Women’s leadership programmes and Awareness sessions for both men and women. For one global consultancy our work started with establishing the D&I Steering Committee and creating a strategy for change. This led on to carrying out an exploratory diversity diagnostic in 3 regions as well as setting up D & I Working Groups in Gender and Ethnicity.


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