Published on in Responsible Business

Gender pay gap: key actions blog series

In September 2018, we published a 1.5% decrease in our second gender pay gap – from 17.9% in 2017 to 16.4% in 2018. While our gender pay gap is significantly better than the tech sector average, we do not view it as acceptable and are committed to remedying it. This year, we have taken a detailed look at our findings and have identified key actions to complete in order to move our Gender Diversity Action Plan forward and close our gender pay gap. This blog series will focus on these key actions and impacts.

Inspiring inclusive leaders

Empowering leaders to create inclusive atmospheres around them continues to have a powerful positive effect on our organisation. Inclusive leaders can drive a 70% increase in the number of individuals who feel included; a 17% increase in a team’s performance; a 29% increase in collaboration, and a 20% increase in decision making quality. Perspectives – Fujitsu’s reverse mentoring program – challenges leaders to re-think their leadership style by giving them an insight into the lived experiences of diverse talent in the business.

Inclusive leadership goes further than directing a group of people: it is defined by how a leader makes other people feel. An inclusive leader will make people feel that they in a fair environment where their uniqueness is appreciated. Above all, leaders should promote a sense of belonging, while ensuring everyone has a voice in the decision-making process.

Inclusive leadership is a crucial component in creating a genuinely diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can succeed. To bring this to life we focus on six key inclusive leadership traits with our leaders throughout Perspectives:

  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion in the widest sense. We often find these objectives align with leader’s personal values because they believe in the business case.
  • Courage to challenge bad behaviours and organisational norms. This is the courage to speak up and constructively challenge direct reports, peers and those more senior than them.
  • Cognisance of bias and being aware of biases they hold and biases in the organisation. Safeguarding against bias will ensure decisions are fair and based on fact.
  • Curiosity to ask about, and value, diverse views and experiences.
  • Cultural intelligence which allows them to be confident and effective in cross-cultural interactions.
  • Collaboration by connecting and empowering individuals to succeed. Leaders do this by using their networks to leverage the thinking of diverse groups.

Engaging, inspiring and changing leadership styles

Typically, leaders are only aware of about 4% of the problems in their organisations. This means they often believe the organisation around them is a vessel that reflects their own values and experiences. Perspectives helps leaders learn about the experiences of their colleagues, giving them an insight they may not have had before.

Each one of us is unique: we all have a different perspective shaped by the cultural upbringing we had, the privileges we received, and the experiences we have endured or enjoyed. By pairing leaders with diverse talent, it enables them to challenge their own perceptions by understanding what it’s like to work at Fujitsu as a woman, a person with a disability, an LGBT+ person, a young professional, or someone from a minority ethnic or different cultural background.

Creating an inclusive culture

Over the six month program, leaders have the ability to deepen their insight into diversity and inclusion and receive honest feedback in a safe space. This encourages leaders to proactively identify actions to build a more inclusive culture and get new insights into business objectives.

By meeting their mentor at least once a month to discuss topics from personal experiences in meetings and meeting etiquette, to career progression and communication styles, our leaders are more enlightened, and ultimately inspired to become more inclusive leaders.

Perspectives has mentored 46 leaders and has achieved a Net Promoter Score of 78%. This demonstrates the commitment of leadership to create an inclusive environment for everyone. They have been mentored on a range of diverse experiences, with 70% learning about the experiences of women in the organisation.

“My mentee has learned how powerful their choice of words can be and how to use more inclusive language. During the Perspectives program they have taken the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in understanding different viewpoints, including mine – and as a result of wanting to be more aware of this I have been invited to meetings to understand how they perform in a workplace environment.” – Mentor on gender, ethnicity and age to the Senior Vice President Head of Sales and Country Leadership.

“Mentoring the CEO of Fujitsu EMEIA was fairly intimidating at first but he was really engaged in the process of reverse mentoring and wanted to learn and take on feedback, which created a culture of trust and honesty. It was very satisfying to see evidence of the conversations we’d had in our sessions coming out in his wider communications and hearing about his later reflections on points we discussed. I felt like I was making suggestions that would bring about genuine change at the senior levels – something I couldn’t have impacted otherwise.” – Mentor on gender, LGBT+ and age to the CEO of Fujitsu EMEIA.

By breaking down barriers and challenging our perspectives we can create more inclusive leaders. Creating a female-friendly culture will enable us to retain female talent and will ensure there are no barriers to progression. By supporting further Perspective cohorts we can continue to create a more inclusive atmosphere at all levels in our organisation which will help eradicate our gender pay gap and demonstrate that Fujitsu is the place where everyone can succeed.

Read more blogs in the series:

Overcoming the Gender Seniority Gap

Launching Gender Diverse Shortlist

How Fujitsu’s Women’s Business Network is improving gender parity across the industry

Two small changes to create a diverse graduate scheme

How Girls Days are building a pipeline of future female tech talent

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