Diversity & Inclusion

Together we will build our fantastic, inclusive culture

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on my last editorial in DRIVE.

In the last edition, I spoke about our group rental manager role and that we currently don’t have any women in this position. I spoke about our responsibility to be a role model, to coach and to sponsor others.

What I found interesting is that not everyone liked the headline – Wanted: female group rental managers – and that’s okay. I love the debate.

I had feedback that people also liked the headline. Women emailed their managers to say that this motivated them in a very positive way. That they are more determined than ever to focus on their performance and career journey. They felt empowered and committed to developing into great candidates for the future.

We had groups of new hire women see this article (in many groups DRIVE is shared with all new starters and candidates). They tweeted that THEY were our group rental managers of the future, which was great. This means we are having career path conversations with our employees early on and that they see opportunity.

Others didn’t like that I made the point so boldly and set a target date. They felt that this may overshadow promotions of women. Don’t get me wrong, we always have been and always will be a meritocracy. That will never change. The best candidate still gets the job, end of story. Just because we want more female candidates, it would be short-sighted to think that anyone would promote a candidate for any reason other than performance.

Let’s just make sure we are developing all employees for promotional opportunities. For example, some groups are facing challenges in terms of parity in recruiting. Other groups are having challenges retaining women. We have to ask ourselves as leaders, what did we do today to develop talent for the future? What am I doing to develop talent that is different to me? What did I do to help us attract and hire the best female and diverse candidates? This is part of inclusive leadership.

Whatever your opinion, it is important that we have courageous conversations like this at work. This helps our business move forward and allows everyone the same opportunity for success.

We are making progress in diversity and I would like to thank everyone for your commitment to our values. But we can’t ever be satisfied with our efforts as there is still more to do.

by Khaled Shahbo

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