Dear LEAD Network member,

We are experiencing exceptionally challenging times, touching every aspect of our lives. The pandemic and its economic consequences are exacerbating the fault lines in our societies, deepening divisions and worsening inequalities. The recent killing of George Floyd in the US has sparked protests around the world, showing that citizens are determined to seize the moment and stand up against these divisions.

How can we, the members of LEAD Network, make the most effective contribution to these critical issues – both collectively and individually? There are now 7,000 of us, from
30 countries, representing 300 companies. Each one of us brings a unique viewpoint and
set of experiences, and we value each other because of these differences. Our diversity is our strength.

As an organisation we embody the kind of society we want to create: a diverse and inclusive world where we can all thrive. This starts to become a reality when we are prepared to put our principles into action. The values of LEAD Network can provide us with a powerful guide:

  1. We have a passion for a diverse and inclusive industry
    We are a diverse group of individuals driven by a common passion for D&I.
  2. We are optimistic about the future
    We believe we can change the world by collaborating under a common purpose.
  3. We nurture our Partners
    We value our relationships with Partners and will go to extraordinary lengths
    to ensure mutual success. We believe we can only change our industry if
    we all work together.
  4. We are run by our members, for our members
    We respect each other and grow together. We connect and share.
  5. We are committed to act: “doing, not trying”
    We provide a ‘safe haven’ for our volunteers to help drive change
  6. We believe in excellence in execution
    Integrity and authenticity in our interactions is key to our success.

First, we must care about and seek to understand the perspective of others who have experienced injustice and discrimination, and be willing to honestly share our own vulnerability in return. We must listen, with openness and without preconceptions.
The ability to empathize and ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’ will build trusting relationships and help us get to the root causes of inequality and discrimination.

Second, we must make ourselves allies for ideas and policies that will improve the lives of others within our companies and communities. These ideas may seem small, but they can yield transformational results. When inequalities remain marginalized (‘a women’s issue’, ‘a race issue’) then people feel isolated and exposed; when large numbers join the call for change, then strength and confidence emerge.

Last but not least, we can harness our executive expertise to inspire our teams and deliver business and organisational results that will help build a more just and inclusive society.

Now, more than ever, let’s stick together and make our actions count.

 

Helayne Angelus
On behalf of the entire LEAD Network Leadership Team