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IWD: #InspireInclusion with Mark Holliman, Senior Portfolio Manager at Ki Insurance

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author:by Hannah Turner

​​​This International Women's Day, I interviewed Mark Holliman, Senior Portfolio Manager at Ki Insurance, and he shared his thoughts on how we can #InspireInclusion.

When we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world. The IWD 2024 campaign theme seeks to inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion. Organisations, groups, and individuals worldwide can all play a part, and to truly include women means to openly embrace their diversity of race, age, ability, faith, body image, and how they identify.

International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. Collectively, we can all help create a diverse, equitable and inclusive world. ​

1. What does inclusion mean to you, and why?

Inclusion for me means creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, listened to and is able to thrive.

2. What are some actions you have seen organisations take to commit to inclusion in the workplace?

Hiring is the big one here: you have to hire diversity to have diversity, which is the first step towards inclusion. Organisations have to hold themselves and recruiters to account here, assessing both the demographics of candidates seen and those that are offered a job.

Recruiters can help to get a more diverse candidate pool. For instance, Hannah at Eames had helpful suggestions to increase the attractiveness of our job advertisements to women, including making the language more inclusive and better highlighting the range of benefits available.

Organisations can use a plethora of methods to remove bias from their interviewing process, too: removing names from CVs, ensuring candidates are measured against pre-defined criteria and that questions are at least somewhat standardised to help remove bias.

3. What initiatives or strategies can be implemented to increase the representation of women in leadership positions in your industry?

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez highlights that unpaid work (childcare, housework etc) still falls disproportionately on women. This additional burden has obvious consequences on career prospects, but she also provides strategies to create more equality, including: more even paternity and maternity (akin to the Swedish approach where childcare is more evenly distributed) and more flexible work.

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, puts forward the argument that time with the boss matters for promotions. Therefore organisations need to ensure everyone gets an equal opportunity for time with their boss, e.g. days in the office should align, socials need to be inclusive and the number of catch ups with reports should be equal.

4. What does being an effective ally for women look like to you?

For me, it's about creating a safe space so you can listen to your friends and colleagues about their views and experiences. Particularly as a man, there are things I have never seen or experienced, but if multiple women are experiencing something in the office, that thing needs to be heard and understood so you can work together to help find solutions.