Lead from the top

“We live in a diverse world and we need to stay relevant. But to make it work, it can’t just be a pragmatic decision, a’s ingrained into our way of thinking. Once it becomes part of the fabric, people feel good about it, but really it’s just how things should be.”

- Kevin Jaffe, Chairman and Corporate Partner, Simpson Grierson

As a leader you can be a powerful driver of change — especially cultural change. The leadership shadow describes how leaders shape the culture of their organisations by what they say, do, measure and prioritise.


According to Mc Kinsey&Co’s decade-long research, chief executive and leadership team buy-in is one of three game-changers for addressing workplace gender issues.


Leaders need to understand and effectively communicate the business case for change and how it benefits everyone. Talking about how the gender pay gap occurs and why the organisation wants to close it should happen often and throughout the organisation.

Role modelling

Success of any transformation is linked to leaders’ role modelling and how they prioritise change. Senior managers can visibly make time for their own caring responsibilities and they can take unconscious bias training.


Employees, customers and stakeholders value authenticity. Leaders can ensure that public image aligns with reality by taking responsibility for change. Without the support of top leadership — including resourcing — even very committed managers will struggle to make changes.

Other actions for employers

Make a plan

Analyse your data

Be aware of bias

Redesign your talent management process

Maximise female talent

Normalise flexible work and parental leave for men and women.