Leasing Professionals

Leasing Foundation launches diversity and inclusion programme

thomas emma

The Leasing Foundation has launched a new diversity and inclusion programme to coincide with National Inclusion Week in the UK.

In addition to the launch of the programme, it has revealed the initiative’s steering group, composed of influential industry professionals who are committed to driving change in diversity and inclusion.

The eight members of the group met recently to discuss objectives and agree priorities for the programme.

Group member Emma Thomas, head of sales at Siemens Financial Services (pictured above), said: “We will take a holistic approach to diversity and tackle a broader range of subjects beyond gender and race. We want to address factors both above and below the waterline of visibility.”

For some years, The Leasing Foundation has organised a Women in Leasing group, but the organisation says it has become increasingly clear that gender is only one small part of diversity.

While diversity may encourage employers to create opportunities for individuals, inclusivity is concerned with promoting a culture of acceptance and helping individuals to thrive within organisations.

As a recent Harvard Business Review article explained: “Diversity is being asked to the party, Inclusion is being asked to dance”.

The Leasing Foundation says having a diverse workforce is not just about being a responsible employer, it is also about talent management.

Organisations which tap into the diverse workforce pool are more innovative and creative as employees with different backgrounds, different experiences and different ways of thinking can bring a wider perspective to business development.

It warns that diversity without inclusion is a story of missed opportunities, but diversity with inclusion encourages talent retention and engagement.

The steering group will meet bi-monthly and will collaborate both within and outside of the industry.

Members of the Steering Group are:

Carol Roberts – Bibby Financial Services (chair)

Emma Thomas – Siemens Financial Services

Jo Davis – Locke Lord

Brian Murphy – Alfa Systems

Yvonne Wiseman – Metro Bank

Paul Slapa – Wesleyan

Jonathan Crook – Aldermore

Helen Lumb – Shire Leasing

For further details on the programme, contact Carol Roberts by email.