Women in business and positions of leadership is a powerful thing. Female empowerment comes with authority and making a mark on the world around them. However, only 30% of women are in management roles. Protecting, uplifting, and advocating for women in business needs to become a widespread business culture. 

And this is where TP Women comes in. Celebrating the women at Teleperformance – business services provider – TP Women helps to drive positive change on this topic and advocate for more gender equality in the workplace. 

We were lucky enough to interview Miranda Collard on this month’s important topic of women in business. Miranda is the Head of TP Women, and founded and launched the programme in 2019. Also, she is the Global Chief Client Officer for Teleperformance – leading all aspects of customer delivery and strategy. 

As an advocate for women in business, and an expert on the subject, let’s learn more.

TP Women celebrates the achievements of women in Teleperformance, and advocates for their recognition and equality. How, when and why did this come about? What were the factors that pushed for its emergence?

TP Women was established in 2019 with the purpose of addressing challenges women face in the workplace and to drive positive change.  

Women undeniably bring great value to the workplace. Nurturing, developing them and mentoring their growth is quintessential. We advocate diversity- inclusivity, gender parity, equal opportunity, and advancement. We are promoting this by creating awareness and ensuring all women, across all levels, understand that diverse teams strengthen companies and can help drive overall competitive results.

Additionally, women specifically excel with high emotional intelligence such as empathy and patience. These are valuable characteristics when servicing customers and leading teams. 76% of people reported those with empathetic leaders have higher levels of engagement than those with less empathetic leaders. Through this, employees can also engage much more sympathetically with customers. 

What was it about Teleperformance, for you, that drove the need for change in TP Women?

 I wanted to be involved in contributing to meaningful change in Diversity and Inclusion. As a woman in the C- Suite, what better way than by creating TP Women?

More young women aspire to fill leadership roles when they can see female leaders in the C-suite. Research has shown that women in senior roles make companies 15% more profitable. This is because diverse teams are more conducive to problem-solving business solutions. Additionally, as women make up 80% of buying decisions, it is really vital for companies to have strong female representation at all levels. From C-suite and beyond, this will fully reflect the needs of the markets they serve. 

What are some of your favourite initiatives led by Teleperformance about women in business – pushing their success and growth, etc?

The TP Women Mentorship program at Teleperformance is designed to support highly promising female leaders in advancing to senior level positions. This program supports and strengthens skills and encourages women to pursue their career & personal goals.

Today, 46% of all management positions at Teleperformance are comprised of women. This nurtures a sense of belonging. Female employees feel they are not only valued, but have a genuine opportunity to grow into senior roles.  

What do you think are the must-have inclusivity strategies that businesses must incorporate to protect and retain their female employees?

We cannot simply say we want to create diversity and expect a wide range of candidates to line up at our door. Without intention, we will end up with the one-dimensional workplace of the past. Employers need to be deliberate about finding diverse candidates. 

This process begins with our job descriptions. One of the first ways candidates interact with our companies is through job postings. To attract diversity, we need to be sure that our descriptions are inclusive.

Most women apply only to jobs they’re 100% qualified for, while men apply for 60%. To combat this trend, we can prioritise the experience that is mandatory for the role. Avoid the ‘check the box’ mentality that can overtake job postings. This type of postingcan potentially intimidate applicants. 

Furthermore, we should be careful to avoid coded language that might alienate women or other marginalised groups. It’s worth taking the time to thoughtfully re-write job descriptions to ensure we are encouraging all people – regardless of their sex, race, or background – to apply.

What are the long-term goals of TP Women for you, but also the team? 

Achieving workplace diversity also requires setting clear and measurable targets to track our progress and keep us accountable. If we don’t know who is under-represented at our company, how can we fix it? 

We can say we want to use inclusive hiring practices. But, unconscious bias often draws us toward what we know and are familiar with – leading us to hire the candidate who just “fits in.”  If we don’t set clear targets and actively prioritise diversity in hiring, we might unintentionally end up in a workplace filled with clones — people who look like us, think like us, or are from a similar background as us. Setting intentional diversity targets allows us to break out of the echo chambers that unconscious bias creates and hold ourselves accountable as we move toward greater diversity. 

Are there any emerging trends you notice cropping up with women’s issues in the workplace?

In many ways, COVID has opened people’s minds to more flexible and diverse work environments. However, we can’t just rely on a large global pandemic to get the ball rolling on diversity and inclusion. Opening people’s minds might also take a bit more leg work. We have made so much progress on DE&I but there is much more work to do. 

We must commit to putting practices into place while also untangling our own unconscious biases. And while this requires a lot of hard work, the payoff s 100% worth it. Diversity in the workplace brings the best out of everyone, allowing teams to leverage each unique individual’s strengths, no matter their background, to breed innovation, creativity, and growth. As a leader, I can’t think of anything more worthy of our time. 

If any other business can take one piece of advice forward from you and/or TP Women, what would it be?

If you haven’t started DE&I as a strategic initiative at your company, then you are behind! You don’t have to have extensive experience to get started. The under-represented groups of your organisation will lead you forward.  

Curiosity, an appetite to learn, an open mind, and a “can do” attitude is all you need to start making a difference. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. – “You don’t have see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

No matter where you are in your journey of helping to foster inclusive workplaces for all, keep pushing. It’s worth it! 

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