Co Working Spaces and getting diversity right. Modern Day Wisdom #8:

Modern Day Wisdom #8: How can business leaders get diversity right?

x+why were lucky enough to host Kin&Co’s latest Modern Day Wisdom event, ‘How can business leaders get diversity right’. If you missed it, catch-up below, with their post-event summary and 4 key takeaways from the event. Written by Chelsea King from Kin&Co.


We hosted our eighth Modern Day Wisdom event on Thursday 30th May at x+why’s truly beautiful venue space in Whitechapel and what an event it was! Alongside the best-in-class learnings that are a staple for Modern Day Wisdom, we also treated attendees to pizza and drinks from our fellow B Corp, Toast Ale. It was one of those evenings that you really don’t want to miss. In case you did, keep reading as we bring you up to speed…

Talking all things diversity, inclusion and leadership, we were honoured to be joined by three thoroughly inspirational and engaging panellists; Shahana Ramsden, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS England, Anusha Nirmalananthan, Head of Growth at JustEat and Charlotte Sewell, Head of Social Impact and Learning & Development at COOK.

Diversity is a topic that is incredibly personal, and means something different to so many people. That’s why it’s one of the most sensitive, polarising and often intimidating issues that businesses are tackling today.

Each of our panellists is doing incredible things to shake up what diverse business leadership looks and feels like, and on the night, they shared some practical and insightful takeaways that our super switched-on crowd. Here we pick out four key points from the discussion:


Four pearls of Wisdom

1 – Look through an equality lens whenever you start a new project or piece of work. It’s almost like putting on a different pair of glasses, and actively choosing to look at the world from a different perspective. It’s not easy to do, but if you can tell yourself to think differently, and take yourself outside of your comfort zone, that’s probably one of the most powerful tools you can use, and carry with you wherever you go.

2 – Accept that every single person is different. Start with yourself. Recognise what makes you a diverse person and think carefully about one adjustment that would benefit you as a unique individual. What would that be? Then, talk to a colleague or friend about what that adjustment might be for them. Figure out if you can make that happen. It might be something really tiny, but just talking about it can make a difference.

3 – Start conversations when you don’t know. If you’re trying to grapple with a diversity-related challenge, whether it’s getting your manager to change their approach, or if you’re a management team trying to work out how to better support the wider team, start a conversation. You might just be surprised where it takes you.

4 – Think about what people aren’t saying. We talk a lot about what you can and can’t measure, but one thing that is important to think about is what people might not be talking about. Always consider what people don’t talk about on company newsletters, look for the voices that aren’t being heard, and notice who isn’t applying for promotions. Recognising those things will often be really revealing in terms of what’s actually going on in your organisation.