Why Bespoke, Inclusive Training Improves Your Female Talent Pipeline
Why do you think gender disparity still exists in the workplace? What do you think is the reason that so few women reach the top of their organisations?
While time and money have been spent on researching why women still face challenging career prospects, unfortunately, companies continue to miss out on their diversity of talent.
At Elevate Talent, we propose that organisations have a firm grasp of why diversity matters and how they would benefit from creating gender parity; however, they often lack five main components to make it happen.
We believe that we have the solution in one of these five areas, and with a 100 per cent client retention rate, so do our clients. At least 90 per cent say they would recommend us to other organisations so that they could increase their female talent pipeline, support women to progress their careers, and enjoy the benefits to their business.
In this blog, we’re going to share why bespoke training is the first of the five missing components to improve your female talent pipeline, and why it will support you or your organisation to take steps towards gender parity.
You might also like to check out our earlier blogs 2 Female Superpowers That Will Change Your Business For The Better and Why Redressing Gender Imbalance Is A Triple Win.
Training must be based on data
Before we deliver any training, we invest time in understanding what’s really happening – what are the current challenges and obstacles your female talent are facing. We ask the right questions to ensure we gather the data we need in order to design a well-thought-out training programme.
There are two main problematic oversights when it comes to delivering training to women:
- The belief that one size fits all: for training to be effective, women cannot be treated as one homogenous group. We have a diverse client base of women from 56 countries. They have varying levels of experience and their needs are different. Some of them want to learn from us to progress their own careers; others want to support their colleagues or their team to progress.
- Training is frequently designed for the extrovert: there are so many different personality types, but when training is targeted towards the extrovert, women who are more introverted pull back. Elevate Talent delivers bespoke live virtual training, and we intentionally tailor it to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible and that we stimulate four main learning preferences (more on this below).
I recently met with prospective clients who are looking to roll out our programme; when I explained that we deliver bespoke virtual training, one of them remarked, “Oh that sounds like heaven because I hate people.”
We chatted about how introverts get their energy from alone time, while extroverts typically feel energised in the company of others. If all training is styled towards extroverts, you’re already reducing its efficacy and deterring introverted women from taking part.
What’s the solution?
We design our training to appeal to different personality types and learning preferences based on the Honey and Mumford Learning System*.
There are four main types:
- Activists: activists enjoy the here and now; they are often enthusiastic about participating in online polls and sharing their thoughts and feelings.
- Theorists: theorists want to quickly understand how what they are learning can be applied to their life or their career. They thrive on statistics and data. They tend to be logical and like to assimilate facts.
- Pragmatists: the more pragmatic learning style wants to see how something works in practice. They seek new ideas and opportunities to experiment with applications.
- Reflectors: the reflectors like to stand back, observe and contemplate. They analyse data and take their time to reach a conclusion.
As you can see from these four learning preferences, delivering training that speaks to one or two of them is pointless. We need to deliver across the board in order to maximise learning, engagement and follow-through, so that more women progress their careers, and more businesses benefit from the talent and skill they have to offer.
How does this impact our training programmes?
We share facts, opinions, stories and case studies so that we support diversity at every level. We encourage delegates to answer online polls or fill in a worksheet. Approximately 90 per cent of our participants respond to the online polls, and around 28 per cent will ask questions or share their ideas.
We know that some people prefer to learn in a more passive way (reflectors), so we don’t apply pressure for 100 per cent interaction, which means we don’t alienate any individuals. One of our presenters, Kevin Hall, is a reflector himself (click to read more in this blog).
What do women do if they feel unsupported in the workplace?
We know that a challenging dynamic with their boss, a lack of support, or insufficient training opportunities to advance their careers can all contribute to women leaving their jobs. If you run an organisation, that means you face the cost of new recruitment and are likely to find yourself repeating the same cycle. However, with the right training, you can save time and money, and you can boost your profits.
In next week’s blog, we’ll be diving into a new perspective on the topic of female role models and why they are not a silver bullet.
If you’d like more information about how Elevate Talent can support you to progress your career or how we can enhance your organisation’s ability to fill and retain its female talent pipeline, click here to get in touch.
Also, check out our new eBook ‘A 4-Step Plan To Help You Run Impactful And Engaging Training Seminars‘
* The Honey and Mumford learning styles were published by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford in 1986.
** Honey and Mumford learning styles image