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Skills development: the missing link in increasing diversity in leadership

Binna Kandola (Managing Partner at Pearn Kandola, Oxford, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



This article provides human resource professionals and managers with an insight into the under representation of women/ethnic minorities at senior management level in UK organisations and the issues involved in increasing diversity in leadership. It describes three leadership studies carried out by Pearn Kandola covering: barriers to the career progress of ethnic minorities; differences in perception of male and female managerial success; and changing leadership behaviour. The research was conducted via literature reviews and interviews with HR/diversity specialists, senior managers and ethnic minority employees. The findings highlight the individual and organisational barriers facing ethnic minority employees and the differences in attribution of male and female managerial success. It underlines the need for diversity policies to encompass development and progression, as well as recruitment, and for skills development. Although further quantitative research is needed, the findings raise questions about underlying stereotypes and bias and discrimination when developing and implementing appraisal systems. Practical suggestions are made regarding behaviour change and policy review.



Kandola, B. (2004), "Skills development: the missing link in increasing diversity in leadership", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 143-147.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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