Lessons for Leaders: Diversity and Inclusivity
In Episode 25 of the Blue Door Podcast we continue our Lessons for Leaders series, and talk to Paul Asare-Archer, Director of Compliance at Virgin Media O2, who some long time listeners might remember from back in episode 2. As Black History Month comes to one end, we talk directly to Paul about his own story, and the lessons to share about diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
Paul has spent most of his life focused on self improvement, yet he is reluctant to think of himself as any different to anyone else. In his senior role at Virgin Media O2, however, he has come to recognise that he has an opportunity to share his own story as a mentor or role model.
Paul talks about his background, upbringing, support groups, and the diversity that exists within them. Black History Month has provided the space for us all to address consciously many of our daily instances of our own unconscious biases – and Paul reminds us that it isn’t just race we should be talking about, but gender, class, religion and sexual identity as well. We need to be having the conversations, no matter how uncomfortable they can feel.
Paul and I continued what became a broad and fascinating discussion about some of the issues that society and organisations need to embrace and discuss without fear, including:
- How everyone’s experience, perspective and story is equally valid. It isn’t a matter of being right or wrong.
- Why and how we visualise or impose barriers on ourselves that may or may not exist.
- Why Paul is troubled by the term BAME.
- What role, if any, should quotas play?
- How flexible working can broaden the recruitment pool.
- What brands and organisations can do to attract a more diverse workforce.
- The opportunities for organisations in 2022 and beyond.
You can listen to the full discussion by streaming, downloading or subscribing to the podcast here.
If you’re motivated to look at the issues around diversity a little deeper, you might want to watch a panel discussion on the subject from our Blue Door Expo. You can watch it on our YouTube channel here.