June 2019

Working with senior champions and creating allies

June - Working with senior champions and creating allies

Around one in five of adults have a disability of some kind. And the questions businesses are beginning to ask themselves are:

  • Can we afford to miss out on the custom of over 13 million people in the UK who - together with their families - have an estimated spending power of around £250 billion?
  • How do we find ways to ensure that our board members look at issues from a different, impartial perspective and scrutinise performance dispassionately?
  • What is the internal evidence we need to examine that tells us that promoting inclusion is not an optional activity but it makes great business sense for us?

This means there is more and more emphasis being placed on the need for organisations to tackle disability inclusion systemically, and systematically. And that can often only happen when a network / resource group works closely with a senior champion as well as finding ways to build a broad network of allies across the organisation.

During the month of June we look at the unique role that network leaders have to seed and feed their senior champion with the information they need to spot and surface the trends. And we help members to think about the options available to build allies across the organisation.

We will:

  • Shine a light on good practice between a network / resource group and the senior sponsor / champion
  • Help members to socialise the new PurpleSpace champion / senior sponsor competency framework
  • Help members think about how to get more support from their senior sponsor / champion
  • Offer you the opportunity to engage with PurpleSpace Ambassadors and fellow members

What can you look forward to this month?

We will kick off the month with a PurpleSpace Ambassador welcome from Andy Kneen of Shell in the Member Zone - and pose the big question, "How does a Champion / Senior Sponsor help an organisation go from "good" to "great" when it comes to disability inclusion?"

On 27th June we will convene an evening networking reception 'Driving Change From The Top' generously hosted by law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP . At the event we will bring together three senior champions including Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office and Civil Service Disability Champion and Martin Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at BAE Systems - Air and Vandana Siney, Global Chief Controls Officer at Barclays to offer up tips to network leaders in how to attract their interest and keep them informed. We will also unveil our new 'Purple Champions Leadership Framework' being co-produced by Iain Wilkie, ex partner at EY and leader of 50 Million Voices, a new global campaign to bring together leaders who stutter.

You have a chance to learn more about Iain prior to the event in his recent 'Spotlight on...' interview.

This month's external resource review from PurpleSpace Consultant Sally Ward looks at 'Leading from the front: Disability and the role of the Board' produced by KPMG in association with Purple.

To round the month up we invite you to drop into the Member Zone between 16:00 - 17:00 on Monday 24th June for our MZChat. Join in the conversation led by PurpleSpace Ambassador Andy Kneen of Shell, to share learning and offer your own top tips to other members.

The four questions for discussion are:

  1. What makes a great Champion / Senior Sponsor?
  2. How can you position your Champion / Senior Sponsor as a key 'customer' in the work you do?
  3. What do you need to do differently or better to maintain their interest and enthusiasm?
  4. How can you 'speak truth to power' within the limitations of your role?