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DE&I Programmes

Leadership
development for
underrepresented
groups

Underrepresented groups header image Ivy House

Diversity, equity and inclusion is not just about changing skills.

And it’s not about taking an underrepresented group and teaching them how to ‘fit’ within organisations.

It’s about changing cultures and behaviour. It’s about shining a light on attitudes, unconscious biases and beliefs. It’s about developing safe, fair, and inclusive work environments, building trust and a sense of belonging for all employees to feel empowered to innovate and do their best work. It’s about creating a whole ecosystem to truly have an impact.

Why invest in leadership development?

Investing in leadership and talent development for your underrepresented groups has many benefits.

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Sends the right signal

By taking the programmes seriously and acting on the resulting insights, employers signal to the entire organisation that they are serious about learning and changing, and that they need help to do so.

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Creates cultures of trust

They create cultures of transparency and trust that foster inclusion, by showing everyone — particularly members of historically underrepresented groups — that the company is serious about change.

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Impacts the bottom line

It positively impacts the bottom line. More gender diversity translates to increased productivity, greater innovation, better products, better decision-making and higher employee engagement retention and satisfaction.

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Can you risk not to?

If companies don’t act, they risk not only losing their current talent but also the next generation of leaders, who are even more ambitious and place a higher premium on working in equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

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The traditional approach

  1. Most programmes for underrepresented groups outline the most common challenges that population tends to face in the workplace and then attempt to train them in tools and techniques to overcome these specific challenges.
  2. They teach some foundational skills around confidence and self-belief.
  3. They teach people how to ‘fit’ into organisations who might not have the structure and processes in place to create true cultures of belonging and inclusivity.

Instead of beginning with the assumption that all individuals within an underrepresented group are facing the same challenges, we recognise that this most likely is not the case. Each person is a complete individual; teaching them to combat issues based on broad assumptions is often a waste of their time, a waste of your money, and it is unlikely to create the leaders you’re looking for.

Let us be clear – our programmes absolutely address key challenges. However, we do so implicitly with our content explicitly through coaching. The coaches that deliver our programmes have decades of experience supporting a broad range of individuals at all levels in organisations to overcome the challenges they face.

The difference is, at Ivy House we focus on human leadership: the practice of leading oneself and others in a way that empowers everyone to reach their full potential. We are absolutely not about ‘fixing’ people in the workplace. We’re about developing programmes that signify you are serious about investing in your talent populations; we teach the skills that will truly empower each and every individual to step into their power and confidence, authentic, effective leaders – and support you to create the culture that will ensure they’re able to thrive.

A fresh approach

At Ivy House, we do things differently.

Limiting beliefs

The final but critical piece of the puzzle is acknowledging that this isn’t just a systemic or organisational issue.

As organisations strive to meaningfully engage, support, develop and retain diverse leaders, it’s important to understand exactly how these individuals perceive themselves as leaders — and identify the workplace behaviours that may be inhibiting a their ability to advance.

The reality is, everyone approaches work and life differently and that can have a fundamental impact on how they show up and the skills and support required to enable their career advancement. Micro-aggressions, social mobility, years of conditioning and the ongoing reality of gender roles all play a part. And the good news is we are starting to see a positive shift however, to truly equip your leaders with the skills and confidence to step up, it’s critical that development addresses their specific personal needs and challenges.

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The final word

For any programme to be successful, it must address
the challenges that individuals face — both
organisational and systemic, as well as personal
limitations.

Our programmes address these challenges implicitly through
the transformational content, as well as explicitly through discussion
and coaching.

We strongly believe in the power of co-creation; you know your culture,
your people and their needs better than we do. That is why we will
always take a consultative approach, in order to design a programme
that meets your people where they are at and develops core
leadership capabilities that are most critical in your organisation

Interested to know more?

Radical

Challenge.

Support.

Change.

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