This site is intended for health professionals only

Diversity at work should be ‘encouraged’

16 September 2013

Share this article

Companies should encourage more diversity at work, after research showed many women feel the need to change their persona in the office. 

Three-quarters of employees change their behaviour for work, with almost 50% saying they make a “conscious decision” to adopt a different persona. 

But Ann Pickering, HR director for Telefonica UK, who carried out the research, said having a diverse workplace is “so much better for business”. 

Pickering said: “I’m a bit worried and a bit depressed by the findings. I really thought we were making more progress as an economy in general, but it seems that businesses are missing a big trick here.” 

And women are more likely to tone done their personality in favour of more “office-friendly” behaviours – including hiding their emotions and exaggerating assertiveness. 

Pickering said: “We need a balance. In my team I want people to have a range of skills and personalities. 

“You need assertive types, but having a whole room of them isn’t helpful. You need a blend, with more reflective and creative characters mixed in.”