Workplace solutions: an interview with Lauren Toure, diversity and social inclusion expert

Ahead of the Think International Women's Day Celebration we interview guest speaker Lauren Toure, senior consultant at Frost Included f(i), on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

What does an inclusive workplace really look like, and how can we achieve it? How can we create an environment that celebrates talent in all its different forms, and enables everyone to prosper?That’s the thought-provoking question that Lauren Toure, senior consultant at Frost Included f(i) will be discussing at the Think Women International Women's Day Celebration on Friday March 8.

Creating an enabling environment

“It’s the responsibility of us all to create an environment that enables women to prosper,” she says. “We are looking at a new philosophy of leadership – one that will enable a business to be sustainable in the modern world. The world has changed and the marketplace is more global. There is more diversity in customers, the talent pool, and the economy.”While leaders may currently make decisions that reflect their own experiences, they are going to have to step out of their comfort zone and take on the views of others if they are to move with the times, she says. This may mean a shift in mindset, and a willingness to look at leadership in a different way. It also means looking at how women, minorities and people with disabilities can be part of that change.

Diversity and inclusion makes productive teams

“Diversity and inclusion increase productivity and helps to get the most out of the people who work at an organisation,” she says. “If you develop your existing talent and value your employees you can save on recruitment costs and make your business more sustainable, because you better reflect the world in which you are operating.”Frost Included runs inclusive leadership training at the CEO level and Lauren has over 12 years’ experience within the diversity and social inclusion sector including the London Olympics 2012 Organising Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion Team.“It’s about a different perspective,” she says. “Leaders will need to think hard about what high potential actually looks like – rather than what they themselves look like. Where is new talent to be found, and how can it be developed?”By creating a more diverse workplace, businesses will, as a consequence, create an environment that is attractive to employees. This will aid recruitment and attention because the organisation will be seen as a good place to work.

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