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Lexie Sims of The Good Board: “Provide health, including mental health and wellbeing programmes”

Create cultures that are inclusive where different voices can be heard. Ensure employees have access to development programmes to support them in their current roles, but also to equip them for future roles. Provide health, including mental health and wellbeing programmes. As a part of our series about “How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom […]

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Create cultures that are inclusive where different voices can be heard. Ensure employees have access to development programmes to support them in their current roles, but also to equip them for future roles. Provide health, including mental health and wellbeing programmes.


As a part of our series about “How Diversity Can Increase a Company’s Bottom Line”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lexie Sims.

Lexie is Director of Executive Search and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consulting at The Good Board.

Lexie is passionate about ensuring organization and individuals exceed their potential through development of sustainable, inclusive business strategies and individual talent development and management. A keen mentor and coach, it is her belief that social mobility is aided by access to opportunity and education.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into the main part of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you share a bit of your “backstory” with us?

I am an International Human Resources professional with over 20 years’ experience in various public and private sector organizations. I am currently a trustee of The Scout Association and have sat on other Boards, both in the US and the UK. I grew up in East Texas, but I have also lived on the East Coast of the US, in South Africa, Switzerland and have lived in London for several years. My favourite poet is Walt Whitman.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? Can you tell us the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

I was scheduled to attend a panel interview for a role with a Search firm. Reception escorted me to the wrong room and the panel began interviewing me for a different role with another company. It took me a few minutes to understand what was happening. I continued to answer questions as best I could, waiting for a break in questions where I could ask questions to make it clear that I was in the wrong interview. A short while later, reception came in explained what happened and escorted me to the right interview. The interview panel said that I had remained calm and answered their questions.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you tell us a story about how that was relevant in your own life?

My mother used to say, “news gets there before the body.” Basically, don’t worry about something that has not happened and you have no control over. Deal with what you know. Someone will communicate to you if someone is dead, they will not just show up with a corpse.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

There is an amalgamation of individuals who have spanned my life. Some of these individuals did not know they were influencing me. The similar characteristics are that they saw something in me that perhaps at the time I did not recognize myself. I could learn from their examples. They gave me balanced, specific feedback. The individuals were always authentic in their leadership and empathetic and transparent in our relationships. We may not have always agreed, but I knew they were coming from a place of genuine support. These are the individuals who taught me that no matter the level you rise to, “you must always send the lift back down for others.”

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The Good Board is a purpose-led organization. All our colleagues have shared values for the organization, curiosity, connection, optimism, and impact. We just ran a values session at our last team meeting and although we had slightly different definitions of what the words meant to us and how we worked with each other and our clients there was a golden thread woven throughout.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working to create a workshop on cross-cultural mentoring. It has been proven that individuals from underrepresented groups are move engaged, able to prepare themselves for opportunities and have higher retention rates, if they have support from a mentoring programme. In the current climate with more organizations placing emphasis on creating diverse, equitable environments, cross cultural mentoring is a pathway to inclusive excellence.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I try to remain curious and open to others views and new ideas. I mentor young women and particularly young women of colour on how to navigate the corporate waters. I often do this pro bono — when asked by my mentors. I have also served on boards of various charities. I believe in micro and macro solutions.

Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main part of our interview. This may be obvious to you, but it is not intuitive to many people. Can you articulate to our readers five ways that increased diversity can help a company’s bottom line. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Contribution to the bottom line

(1) In 2019, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile — up from 15% in 2014.

In the case of ethnic and cultural diversity, in 2019 top quartile companies outperformed those in the bottom quartile by 36% in profitability — up from 33% in 2017.

Key to attracting the best talent

(2) A Glassdoor survey found 67% of job seekers believe diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers

Innovation

(3) Research shows that diversity of thought is a well-spring of creativity, enhancing innovation by 20%

Customer Loyalty

(4) 50% of customers had been influenced to make a purchasing decision in the past 12 months because of an organisation’s support for equality

Competitive Edge

(5) A 2018 BCG study found that diverse companies realise 19% higher revenue resulting from innovation, and are 70% more likely to capture new markets

What advice would you give to other business leaders to help their employees to thrive?

Create cultures that are inclusive where different voices can be heard. Ensure employees have access to development programmes to support them in their current roles, but also to equip them for future roles. Provide health, including mental health and wellbeing programmes.

What advice would you give to other business leaders about how to manage a large team?

“What gets measured, gets done.” However, this only works if the most significant and impactful things are being measured. Continue to ask the right questions of the right people — and when necessary verify the answers.

Be authentic in your leadership, colleagues need to know right or wrong, that they know what they can expect and that you are going to be consistent.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury. She previously served as the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. She is the first person in American history to have led the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department. Why, because into her 70s she has shown resilience and adaptability in each phase of her career and has proved that not only can you have a second life, but a third and fourth. Also, I would like to pick her brain on how we can ensure decent, sustainable wages to increase financial security for frontline and low-income workers. Plus, I think with all of her different experiences she would be a great storyteller with a wicked sense of humour.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

On the Good Board website — www.thegoodboard.com

Thank you for these excellent insights. We wish you continued success in your great work.

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