Thoughts on diversity from GemCap Uk’s Chief Executive Stuart Alexander.
A natural greeting for us all and, on the whole, one that resonates with everyone as we go about our day – at least in the morning anyway…
We work in a global facing industry, and as an organisation count delegates from many different nations among our team, making us a truly global employer. On one of our daily team calls recently it became clear that, due to no design at all but fate, we have quite a few languages covered by the team and despite being a relatively small organisation the following languages can be spoken:
- Esan (Nigerian dialect)
- Papiamentu (Dutch Caribbean)
Obviously the last one is not really a language, more a dialect – but we do have our own words that few people outside the Red Rose County will understand and at times I do like to throw them into the conversation just to see people’s reaction!
As a global player, a global attitude is important as we embrace not just time zones, cultures and languages but most importantly the way we actually go about business. We all have our differences – and that’s what makes conversations and connections so interesting – but the reality is we have more in common that we might think. In fact, we probably have more similarities than differences.
Having a team that speaks many different languages is just a reflection of one very important aspect of GemCap’s philosophy: diversity.
We are really proud of the diversity we have as an organisation and whilst we are still working to tick all the boxes due to the overall size and age of the business, we feel we have taken huge strides to address the diversity opportunity. I say opportunity because in simple terms, having diversity of voice, accent, background, heritage, gender, sexual orientation etc makes life all the richer for it and as a business owner, I feel it is important to ensure the business benefits from all these differences. I had a catch-up with an old friend this week, Dan Mannix at RWC Partners, and we got to talking about how they have championed the diversity opportunities within his business and like GemCap they have benefitted from it. Clearly there are some aspects that we have yet to achieve but the fact we recognise that means that the adoption is so much easier. As we grow as a business, we will endeavour to address all differences and embrace what they bring to the team. It will not always be plain sailing and at times it will be a challenge, but we will get there. As Dan said, his business has grown and adapted over the years, and as long as you keep communications open with staff and customers alike then you will be in a positive space. Anyway, as I have often said, as a twin I have been cloned once and you don’t want too many like me in the business!