Jo Towers, Director of Strategy & Planning, Payments and Cash Mgmt, HSBC, Suzy Levy, Managing Director, The Red Plate, Rakhi Rajani, Global Director, Customer Experience and Design, Travelex, Moran Lerner, CEO, Chirp and Kaisie Rayner, Head of Strategy & Investment Development, Aegon UK. Picture credits: Katerina Tiliakou
Jo Towers, Director of Strategy & Planning, Payments and Cash Mgmt, HSBC, Suzy Levy, Managing Director, The Red Plate, Rakhi Rajani, Global Director, Customer Experience and Design, Travelex, Moran Lerner, CEO, Chirp and Kaisie Rayner, Head of Strategy & Investment Development, Aegon UK. Picture credits: Katerina Tiliakou
Katerina Tiliakou

Katerina Tiliakou

Journalist at Finbuzz.com
Katerina Tiliakou is an NCTJ Freelance Multiplatform Journalist. She is about to finish her MA in Journalism in September 2016. Katerinacomes from Greece and has been awarded with : Le Nurb Journalist of the year, 'Le Nurb' (Brunel University's online and print newspaper). She has also won the 3rd award in the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences of Brunel University London (CBASS) Human Rights Competition and the 1st Pan-Hellenic award from the Society of Authors in fiction 2007.
Katerina Tiliakou

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Finbuzz attended a debate organised by Market Gravity on “Women in Innovation: Driving growth through gender diversity” to find out how women will be more likely to be promoted in more senior management roles. What is the role of diversity in driving innovation results? And what role does gender play? Why aren’t there more women working in innovation? What can be done to achieve a better gender balance in this field? These and many other questions were addressed during the discussion.

According to The Guardian, women are more likely to be put into leadership roles under risky and precarious circumstances. The reason is that being, women more often always have to prove themselves to others. On the debate was also discussed ways that will help employees to come up with new ideas, as innovation is often a consequence of a lot of different opinions and experiences come together to create something unexpectable unexpected.

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Peter Sayburn, CEO and Founding Partner at Gravity Market, says: “As a specialist company in innovation we help big companies to come up with big ideas. It is really important that we encourage diverse background of people to work with us. We recognise that gender and ethnic diversity introduces better results.”

Peter Sayburn, CEO & Founding Partner at Market Gravity and Heidi O’Leary, Principal Consultant at Marketing Gravity. Picture credit: Katerina Tiliakou
Peter Sayburn, CEO & Founding Partner at Market Gravity and Heidi O’Leary, Principal
Consultant at Marketing Gravity. Picture credit: Katerina Tiliakou

The question is, what is holding back women back from roles in innovation and leadership? One reason is behavioral tendencies. Girls tend to be more fearful of failure than men and lack confidence in comparison. Another is unconscious societal bias in the recruitment process or promotion, meaning that more top positions go to men.

Heidi O’Leary, Principal Consultant at Market Gravity, says: “We come from a world where traditionally men have more roles than women and that is a problem that pictures itself sometimes unconscious bias. People still like to recruit and promote like them. It is a natural human behaviour. However, we have made a progress in our company. When I joined the company I was the first woman in the leadership scheme. I think that now society is getting more inclusive.”

Diversity in every sector is good. However, there are so many barriers. Teaching and knowledge will help humans to stop being biased remove bias in the workplace. Diversity of approach is needed. People need to think more holistically. Communicating skills and confidence should be taught to women that want self-assurance in these areas, so that they can work more efficiently.

Rakhi Rajani, Global Director, Customer Experience and Design, Travelex, says: “Storytelling is an engaging and compelling way on how women will gain confidence.”

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So, part of the solution to invite get more women into innovation and management positions is the employers to stop being so hierarchical and invite employees with other opinions is to breakdown such bias and ensure the same professional support and opportunities are available to all employees irrespective of gender. as It is not always about promotion, tackling the underlying factors is key.

Jo Towers, Director of Strategy & Planning, Payments and Cash Management, HSBC, says: ‘Women also should not be taken for granted that they have children. Women want a night life as well. Modern working world shows how life can work. Organisation is needed to redefine their employees’ will.”

Moran Lerner, CEO, Chirp, says: “We are all individuals. We all have a life. We all want a life. Special and Individual rewards. Everyone wants a paycheck. As a society we are more open to our special needs.”

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