Recently, I had the privilege of attending a discussion about the relationship between diversity and innovation within the legal profession. The forum was convened by Rosemary Martin, general counsel at Vodafone and Daragh Fagan, general counsel at Thomson Reuters.

An unlikely threesome

In the audience were lawyers from both law firms and the bar, as well as in-house counsel, academics, recruitment consultants and HR professionals. There may even have been a few of us who straddled more than one group. As a lawyer who has worked in the government legal service, law and professional services firms as well as being an executive coach and author, I was perhaps one of the more ‘diverse’ participants. And possibly an innovative one too. So it was with an optimistic and open mind that I joined the audience, who at first raised the odd eyebrow to the idea of these three strange bedfellows being linked together in this way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Living and working in the Middle East can be a rewarding experience. Tax-free salaries, learning about new cultures and sharing your professional knowledge are just some of the reasons why expats consider such opportunities. But what else do Middle Eastern companies provide that their Western counterparts could learn from?

The Qatar Foundation has a community support department that focuses solely on developing the community within the organization. There’s a fully staffed gym, weekly excursions, movie nights and cultural events all designed to engage the employee, their families and the surrounding community…
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There’s much current talk about a shareholder spring, with senior executives such as AstraZeneca’s David Brennan, Trinity Mirror’s Sly Bailey and Aviva’s David Moss all forced to leave high profile CEO roles, as a result of a rising backlash against exorbitant boardroom remuneration. However, might an employee spring be the next cab on the rank? There is a growing body of evidence of an increasingly jaundiced relationship between employee and employer.
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In my opinion the kind of misconceptions that I hear and come across,  may be due to  the fact that some people only see diversity as one strand, frequently gender or race. While inclusion focuses on disability and the meaning of equality is about treating everyone the same, or ‘like I want to be treated’, sometimes this naturally comes from their own experiences or needs, and is thus understandable but is very limiting and unhelpful.

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A couple of months ago I was reading a glossy fashion magazine and I was amazed when I came across an article that literally crucified women who do not disclose their pregnancy to their current or future employer when applying for a new role.

Just a few months ago, Lord Sugar reported that pregnant women should disclose this ‘particular’ during interviews. It is the old adage: pregnant women are a burden for a company. Is this really the case? With the changes in the Paternity Leave Regulations and the employment law reforms announced in the Queen’s Speech the rules of the game are changing. However the cultural shift has not taken place yet.
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I recently spoke at an NHS forum on talent management. I originally didn’t think there would be much in common with me coming from the hospitality sector however I was struck by the similarities in strategy and process irrespective of the skills involved for the organisation.

My presentation reflected on the past two years talent management strategy I have implemented at Hotel du Vin & Malmaison. I had brought along Will Harper, one of our employees, identified as talent within our organisation – someone who has been through the programme. Naturally I was upstaged. The audience really picked up on the pride and passion Will conveyed when he told the audience about his experiences, after being identified as talent and developed as a consequence.

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With the expectation that today’s female leaders need to be able to show that they can truly ‘do it all’, Nicky Garcea, director at organisational psychology firm Capp, explores the impact of the need to be a ‘juggler’ has on female talent development and well-being, and highlights ways that ‘doing less’, but thinking more strategically about using strengths can be a women’s secret weapon to success.

In my experience of working with women globally, their feeling of needing to ‘do it all’ and ‘do it all well’ is unanimous. And if the pressure to juggle jam-packed home lives with getting a promotion, wasn’t stressful enough, researchers also believe that this desire to balance home and work causes a significant decline in happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

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What to wear for interviewInterview preparation – it’s pretty daunting isn’t it? As a job seeker, when you’ve secured that all-important interview, what you wear is as much a part of giving the right impression as your skills and competencies.

But what about when you’re at the other side of the desk? If you’re the interviewer, how should you dress to convey the right tone and ensure the candidate walks away with the correct impression of your company?

We recently received the following query from a Changeboard reader:

Q: Hello, I work for a small company. We are currently recruiting new talent. I was wondering, what is the appropriate or recommended attire for interviewers? I’ve found countless articles that discuss the interviewee’s dress, but very limited information for employers. Thanks. Read the rest of this entry »

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What do the late Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and fashion icon Coco Channel have in common – besides being incredibly successful entrepreneurs? They all have a signature style. An outfit, facial hair or fantastic red lipstick that they have hardly ever been seen without. They are all the poster children for personal branding.

Examples of people with a signature style

I have met a few ‘real people’ who have mastered this art too…like Silla Maizey, managing director of BA Gatwick; whose long bright red nails and completely distinctive make-up and hair cut makes her stand out and still look very much like ‘Silla’ even when she occasionally has to wear the BA uniform. Her signature style screams unique, strong and dynamic. Read the rest of this entry »

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