Melanie Richards: How a Happy Coincidence helped the 30 Per Cent Club to change the Diversity Conversation in the UK

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Melanie Richards. Melanie is the Vice Chair and Partner at KPMG in the UK and a Founder Member of the 30 Per Cent Club Steering Committee.

Melanie has been described as one of the most prominent activists for gender equality in UK business, so I was thrilled to speak with her so that she could share the benefit of her considerable experience with us.

In today’s show we discuss several things including:

  • Melanie’s work with the 30 Per cent Club and the Happy Coincidence that gave a boost to their plans
  • The importance of targets and the difference between targets and quotas
  • The role of employee resource groups and their potential within an organisation

 

Here’s some of the wisdom that Melanie shared:

The Use of Targets

Melanie discusses how published targets can be an effective tool for creating change because of the mindfulness it creates within a business. Melanie also draws attention to how targets can be misunderstood:

“People get very confused, when I advocate the need to publish targets, people think you’re talking about quotas.”

Voluntary Business Led Change

Melanie believes that organisations should drive change in the economy but acknowledges the important role of the government in supporting change:

“We can’t diminish the role of government in continuing to shine a light on it and hold people to account in a constructive collaborative way”

An Evidence Based Approach

Melanie is a fan of data and talks about how data can be used to reveal employee experiences:

“I think the benefit of data is that it helps you to unpick the why”

If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting

THE KEY TAKEAWAY

How can your organisation draw greater meaning from the demographic data it collects?

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

My PhD thesis

The 30 Per Cent Club

The Davies report

The McGregor Smith Review

The Parker Review

The Equality Act (2010) Gender Pay Gap Information

KPMG sets diversity targets across gender, race, disability and sexual orientation

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