Welcoming the new year by embracing diversity and conscious leadership

By Ebba Ohlund, Treasurer
Gender Equality and Diversity

As an organization representing one million managers in Europe, we understand it as our responsibility to hand over a better planet to future generations. We stand behind our commitment to gender equality and diversity as a way to create more effective, collaborative and healthy workplace cultures. At the same time, we are aware about the challenges we face in this process. We would like to thank all those that actively lead change for diversity and inclusion.

More than ever, we are convinced, we need to embrace both the feminine and masculine in leadership. With the challenges at stake, it’s high time to learn how to listen, be empathic and contribute to well-being rather than inflated egos. As evidenced, many of the challenges we see, from violence to power games, have a strong gender component. We need to encourage both men and women to be their whole selves and find a healthy relationship to both their feminine and masculine sides.

This asks for leaders to walk the talk and be conscious about the way they perceive their working environment and the way they engage with workers and stakeholders. Especially those leaders that have issues with toxic behaviours, well-being and purpose at the workplace may want to take time this winter for asking yourself questions that matter, such as these ones inspired by our work on Sustainable Leadership:

How would a thriving workplace culture look like that embraces gender equality and diversity at multiple levels? Which potential for success could we unlock by doing that?

What are my personal convictions, values and beliefs about the role of my organization and its place in society and nature?

We wish everyone a restful end of the year period and are convinced that leaders should set an example on taking a real break. Neuroscientific research shows how important rest and good sleep are for the functioning of the brain, including the capacity to be innovative, but also for being empathetic.

Ebba Öhlund
Board member, CEC European Managers