During the leadership training luncheon, Baroness Bottomley discussed the importance of diversity in the workplace and emphasised on gender, age, function, and cultural diversity. As a former member of the British Parliament, Virginia Bottomley worked with Margaret Thatcher and john Major. She strongly believes that diversity in the boardroom would enhance a firm’s performance and decision making process, especially in today’s globalising context.
She said, “If you only live in your own paradigm you have no idea what is happening on the outside. The world is moving so fast and the competition is moving just as fast. You need to open the door, have fresh ideas and boards should consider individuals with experience in international markets and different environments.”
Baroness Bottomley also spoke about how promoting women has slowly become an important topic of discussion amongst national governments, the press, and firms around the world. Women bring a different perspective to the corporate environment allowing for a more informed decision making process. However, Bottomley pointed out, “Diversity is not solely a gender issue. It’s about international perspectives. This aspect of globalisation is so critical and increasingly more successful businesses have people from all around the world.”
According to Daniele Sfeir from the career Services at London Business School, Dubai centre, Virginia’s talk was extremely engaging and covered current issues that are taking place in the business world. It was practical advice that could be put into practice straight away.