This is a great article in terms of reflecting an issue that is societal and has been since the dawn of time. The bottom line must be that however be that in our society, whilst there still is subjugation and conscious discrimination, addressing the challenge of unconscious bias is really difficult. There are a lots of different steps we can all take as leaders in organisation in terms of every decision we take. Who did we give that opportunity to and why? Did we consider alternative candidates? Did we focus on who shouted the loudest or made the most attempts to impress us? Did we take a gamble or always go for the safe option? If most leaders are men? do men need to reflect on who their followers are and why? If we leave this all to just the big promotion decisions we will never solve the problem. Its got to be part of our culture from the bottom up and on all the small day to day and seemingly mundane stuff to build confidence and nurture an inclusive environment from the moment someone steps into our organisations.
The role of women in local government is changing, but as Deborah Cadman, chief executive of Suffolk CC says, we still have to work hard to drive that change.It is true that instead of being a hierarchical old boys’ club in the same way as many industries, local government has become significantly more open and approachable, reducing hierarchy and making a greater effort to reflect the community it serves. For International Women’s Day this year, the New Local Government Network created a series of three short films to look at the role of women in leadership in local government. The enthusiastic responses and inspiring footage we received, filled with experience and advice for those aiming to reach the upper levels of local government management, show how crucial an issue this is.