Engaging InclusIQ’s clients with new thinking about the benefits of diversity and inclusive leadership comes in a multi-layered offering. Suzanne has offered corporate consultancy, training, mentoring and coaching in inclusive leadership, even including a ‘gaming’ element in delivery.
Across all of its work, InclusIQ challenges clients’ unconscious bias, and advocates a joint male and female approach to redressing gender diversity at leadership level. With an enviable client list, which includes Unilever, Tesco, Microsoft and RBS amongst many other big names, Suzanne’s inclusivity mantra is reaching the very top of the corporate tree.
Suzanne has an academic background and is the author of three books on the subjects of gender and the workplace – her latest, ‘The Con Job’, has just published and explores why businesses focus on confidence and overlook competence.
She also knows first hand how valuable diversity of thought is, having been a minority in many of the countries she’s lived and worked in. Born in Australia, and brought up in Washington DC, Suzanne ended up in the East Neuk of Fife, via Ireland and England. There she won a place on the prestigious Saltire Fellowship, an intense and immersive entrepreneurial study programme, and from there InclusIQ was launched.
With new business thinking and ambition, Suzanne had growth factored in from the start, but has kept true to her own vision of expanding at a rate that feels right, and is not at all reckless. She’s avoided bank loans and external investment, choosing to invest her own savings instead to get inclusIQ off the blocks.
Her business journey has come with challenges. Suzanne points to a difficult time when she had to look hard at the future of her online diversity games business.
“After several years of only mediocre sales, I realised it just wasn’t going anywhere fast. But what got me to accepting that ‘failure’ was going back to nearly 50 clients who’d shown interest, but then asking why we didn’t progress. I couldn’t take any of it personally – instead I just asked where we’d fallen down. People were so helpful and shared my goals – a fairer and more inclusive workforce.
Those calls made up what I call my ’summer of humility’. Two WES Ambassadors were actually instrumental in helping me approach it this way – and it was a game changer. It helped remind me where to re-focus my efforts.
Now, I’m back to what I did before the games – writing thought-provoking books for professionals who want to get ahead at work. In ‘The Con Job’ I’m asking readers to think about an old concept – the ‘value of confidence’, but in a new way, and to see it’s actually not that important after all.
Feeling confident all the time doesn’t help you grow, it keeps you in the safe zone, and ultimately doesn’t stretch you. I will no doubt have new failures ahead of me. That’s part of running a business, but if I can turn them around a bit quicker, then the earlier failure I spoke of won’t be in vain – it was just part of the learning curve we’re all on.”
See more from Suzanne on Embracing self doubt productively
My biggest challenge was
I think my biggest challenge was getting through the ‘failure’ of my online diversity games. After several years of only mediocre sales, I realised it just wasn’t going anywhere fast. But what got me to accepting that ‘failure’ was going back to nearly 50 clients who’d shown interest, but then asking why we didn’t progress. I couldn't take any of it personally - instead I just asked where we’d fallen down. People were so helpful and shared my goals - a fairer and more inclusive workforce.