International Women’s Day sees Rod Flavell, FDM Group co-founder and CEO, honoured on the Agents of Change Power List produced by Management Today and the Women’s Business Council. The list shines the spotlight on the army of male leaders who are shattering glass ceilings and nurturing the female talent of tomorrow. Here Rod speaks about what it means to be a leader of culturally diverse organisation.
I’m honoured to be featured in this list, especially on International Women’s Day. However, in many ways, I’m disappointed that we have such lists; female representation and their success in business simply shouldn’t be an issue in this day and age.
When I founded FDM Group, my aim was to create a successful modern business. To do this we set out to find talented people to work for us regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or background. For us, it’s not about where you’ve come from, it’s about where you want to go. If you have the potential, the aptitude and the enthusiasm to develop your career in technology or business, then we want to help you do it.
Creating a culture that supports diversity is simply the right and the most natural thing to do. It is also the key to a successful modern business, quite simply – diversity equals success, and there is plenty of research that shows this.
Every individual brings something to the business, creating an open and tolerant culture where people are valued for who they are creates a buzzing atmosphere; innovation and creativity flow as different points of view merge to create solutions and generate new ideas. Another benefit to building an inclusive culture is that it helps not only attract talent but also to retain it. People want to work for organisations that share their values, this is particularly true of the millennial generation.
This is something I often talk to other leaders about, particularly those in the technology industry, encouraging them to look at their own culture and question if they could do more, to speak out about diversity and challenge themselves and others to do something about it. If we can create the right working environment and women feel like their voice is going to be heard, they will fly and so will we.
For me and for FDM, it will always be attitude that is important, not where you come from. I recently heard someone say; “I’m not different from you, I’m different like you”, a great insight to remind us that we’re all unique, we can all succeed, and we should all work towards supporting each other.
I believe that FDM’s success is down to the people in the business and I am proud to have a management team that is made up of circa 50% women. Our differences make us stronger as one.