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Leading Diverse Teams


Talent is distributed equally across gender, race, and class, yet whilst organisations recognise how to identify potential in their male employees, they are less able to spot, develop, and promote female executive talent.

All too often organisations apply the same mind-set and processes they use to develop men for developing female talent when it’s shown not to work. Building diverse teams is not an innate skill that all managers have, but it can be learned. That’s why after six years of study, The Pipeline is offering something new – a programme of training to show senior leaders and managers how to develop women and maximise the potential of female executive talent. In so doing it increases understanding and builds confidence in managers and leaders to tackle difficult conversations.

This programme will focus on three key barriers which managers can help women overcome:


Women are hindered by receiving less feedback from senior managers. This feedback is not only of a formal nature but also informal, for example, around softer skills, impact, and personal presentation.

"Women are more than 20% less likely than men to say their manager often gives them difficult feedback that improves their performance."

'Women in the Workplace' McKinsey & Company 2016

Career Goals

Career conversations are essential to achieving career goals, yet many managers don’t have these conversations with women. The only way to advance all talent equally is to discuss career goals in an open and transparent manner.

"Female graduates in their 20s tend not to have set themselves any medium or long-term career goals whereas their male counterparts have a 3-5 year horizon."

YSC 2015


No one makes it to the top without a sponsor. It is critical to career progression for both men and women. However, women miss out on sponsorship as managers tend to promote in their own likeness.

"High-potential women are over-mentored and under-sponsored relative to their male peers, and they are not advancing in their organisations. Furthermore, without sponsorship, women not only are less likely than men to be appointed to top roles but may also be more reluctant to go for them."

'Why men still get more promotions than women' HBR 2010

Programme Content

Leading Diverse Teams is offered as an in-house programme and is delivered to groups of managers in 3 half-day sessions over 6 months with a booster session after 12 months. Each part of the course has a mix of plenary sessions as well as time spent in pairs and working one-to-one. Typical themes include:

Why Lead Diverse Teams?

It is now imperative that companies widen the pool of talent by leading diverse teams as women and men working together at senior levels of organisations greatly improves business performance and long-term sustainability. An IMF study showed that one more woman in senior management is associated with 8 to 13 basis points higher return on assets, whilst our own Women Count 2019 report shows that FTSE 350 companies with 25% or more women on their executive committees achieved an average 16% net profit margin, while those with no women achieved just 6%. The results are staggering and clear: it is time to equip managers with the knowledge and confidence to develop female executive talent.

"Having men and women at the top table makes Boards and Executive Committees smarter and leads to better decision making. Women Count 2019 shows that the proportion of women on Boards and Executive teams is a good indicator for profitability. Taking this into account when investment decisions are made is now long overdue."
Lord O’Neill - British Economist, Chair, Chatham House , and former Chairman, GSAM