Industry urged to embrace inclusivity and diversity

Senior women from two influential KBB brands have addressed the lack of females in top KBB roles and opened up about how the industry would benefit from embracing inclusivity and diversity at all levels of business.

Speaking on a special episode of the award-winning kbbreview Podcast – to mark International Women’s Day – Teresa Arbuckle (pictured top right), managing director of Beko and Raffaela De Vittorio (pictured top left), sales director of Geberit UK, both championed the role of women in the KBB industry and highlighted why every organisation should be looking to create a more balanced and diverse workforce.

“The world itself doesn’t really promote or encourage women at the early stages of their career to think about taking on positions of leadership,” explained Beko’s Arbuckle. “This isn’t just a KBB industry issue, it’s a broader business issue. It is changing, it is getting better, but we need to make it a focus.

We are starting to see more women coming through into top roles now though. Even in my own company, I’m seeing more women take on leadership roles. But part of that is because women leaders – women role models – will encourage more women to take on those higher positions.”

Talking specifically about the need to break down barriers in order to encourage more women to take on leadership roles in the KBB industry, Geberit’s De Vittorio said:There’s this idea that women don’t enjoy technical challenges or don’t enjoy engaging with tradespeople and technical aspects of the job. That’s one aspect of the KBB industry that needs addressing.”

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During the podcast, both Arbuckle and De Vittorio hammered home why it is important for KBB brands to have a more diverse and inclusive workforce and how the industry as a whole can look to achieve this moving forward.

“There are more and more studies coming out that show how diversity creates better, more interesting companies,” explained Arbuckle. “This isn’t just about the female agenda – it’s an inclusion agenda.

“The good news is that there are many companies doing it – we just need to shine a light on the issue more so that we can give people who are coming up in their career some hints and tips on how to get there faster, and hopefully help companies with ways of accepting a more inclusive workforce.”

De Vittorio agreed, saying that companies with a more diverse workforce would be able to find a solution that best fits its wider audience.

“Having a team that’s made up of lots of people with different experiences and ideas eliminates blind spots,” she said. “It stands to reason that a more diverse and balanced team would help the business not only find a solution that meets the needs of various consumer types, but how the company markets that product too.”

Listen to the full conversation with Teresa Arbuckle and Raffaela De Vittorio on The kbbreview Podcast. Listen now using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in a podcast app.

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