Diversity in action

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

There’s no doubt about it, diversity and inclusion are good for business.

So why are so many organisations still trailing in this area? Some employers and hiring managers will say they cannot find a diverse recruitment pool. Others may have the right intentions, but still seem to end up hiring people they identify with, or who seem to fit with the existing team.

In this podcast, I speak to project management educator Lee Lambert about how we can challenge our diversity blind spots and lift the diversity of our teams.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Diversity was once considered purely in the context of gender, ensuring there was a mix of both men and women in the workplace.
  • Diversity now goes far beyond gender, including age, race, religion, sexual orientation and ethnic and cultural considerations.
  • A team without diversity becomes an echo chamber with no new thinking.
  • Diversity without inclusion will not be successful. Hiring a diverse team is only the first step. All members of the team must be allowed to participate and add value.
  • Diversity and inclusion together lead to innovation.
  • Organisations can become paralysed when there is no new, innovative thinking.
  • An organisation’s team should be a reflection of its customer base.
  • Employers can have a subconscious bias towards hiring people who they identify with or who are like people they have worked with before.
  • When diversity objectives – or quotas – are included in the business planning, hiring managers are held accountable.

About Lee:

In the profession of Project Management, Lee R. Lambert, PMP, PMI Fellow has established the standard against which others in the field are measured. Throughout a fast-paced 18-year corporate career with Chicago Bridge & Iron, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Electric (Nuclear Reactor Division) and Battelle Memorial Institute – where he worked almost exclusively with engineers and scientists – he quickly ascended to senior management positions and was responsible for the development and implementation of ground-breaking, sophisticated Enterprise project management processes for Engineering, Medical Diagnostics and Research & Development.

In 1981, as a result of his pragmatic application of the PM methodologies, he was invited to be an integral part of the creation of the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Program.  He is a recipient of the PMI’s Distinguished Contribution Award and was a member of the PM Network/PM Journal Editorial Review team for over a decade. He also contributed as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the PMI’s Earned Value Management System (EVMS) Practice Standard. 

Educated as a Mechanical Engineer, he holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Lambert is a frequent lecturer in the prestigious Washington University’s Executive Roundtable series. His most recent professional recognition was being named one of only 70 PMI Fellows. He also received one of the PMI’s highest honours for his ground-breaking applied learning programs: The Professional Development Provider of the Year 2007.

As an author of two books and 32 professional papers, no other project management educator/speaker can contend with his uncanny technical knowledge, material content and refreshing and entertaining delivery—his hard-hitting, but humorous style, has mesmerised more than 50,000 students in 23 countries. Lambert takes the saying; “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt” to a new level.

You can connect with Lee on LinkedIn.