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Learn how to be a more inclusive leader from our panel discussion session!

What does it mean to be an inclusive leader? It means to be someone who are aware of their own biases and actively seek out and consider different perspectives to have more effective decision-making and collaboration. But that is the basic definition of it. To dig deeper on inclusive leadership based on best practices, Home Credit Group held a Panel Discussion on Inclusive Leadership.

On March 10th, 2022, the discussion session was hosted by Renata Mrázová (Group Chief People Officer) and the panelists included; Jana Pěchoučková, (CFO, Home Credit Philippine), Viktoriya Alemanova, (Chief Marketing Officer, Home Credit Russia), Sheldon Chuan, (Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, Home Credit Indonesia) and Michal Skalický, (Chief Customer Officer, Home Credit Vietnam).

So, what were their insights? Here are some highlights.

How to work on being an inclusive leader?

“To empathize is needed, and I want to share with my peers and teams what I recognize. I need to talk with them about what I believe and what I don’t believe.” said Sheldon.

“Have a diverse team, because you need to understand different people and different customers to find solutions. Active listening is important. Get rid of biases. Listen to what they believe and what makes them feel this way.” said Viktoriya.

What kind of traits inclusive leaders should possess?

“It’s important to do the things right way, and lead by example. We must expect from our people and myself. Emotional intelligence, I believe that to some level you must work on it to be inclusive.” said Jana.

“To learn and explore is one of the traits. Be someone who’s curious.” said Mikhal.

“It’s important is to have cross-functional perspectives. In our work culture, you can’t do it alone. You work with different functions when you can manage. Integration is built through listening, and it’s one of the most important traits in inclusion.” said Viktoriya.

Have you personally experienced not feeling included and do you think that has impacted how you lead?

“I learn to appreciate the differences in cultures from having lived in different countries. To me I find that understanding the culture and nuances is important. But I also receive racism, and the only way to fight back is to not let that impact you, do good things, embrace differences.” said Sheldon.

“I was the only woman in a team once and it was tough. First, I was trying to act like a man. But that was a failure, and I recognize my strengths as woman. I’m more flexible, more calculating, and listening to others more.” said Viktoriya.

“I once worked in Greece with an amazing boss, but it was his idea and the rest of the company didn’t like it. And going to a new country with a family with only one supporting person in the company was very challenging.

As we went there and build a team, the company started to change and support us. It showed me that persistence and a couple ambitious people can move the mountain, but it needs at least one man in the organization already supporting us.” said Mikhal.

What advice would you give to people in similar situations?

“I would encourage all of us to be for a problematic person in our team at the moment. Not hoping that person will react the proper way we want to. But I knew if one person was against me, I would rather encourage the rest of us to have empathy in that situation.” said Jana.

“Even though you have a feeling you are alone, you are not alone. Focus on the people close to you who can help.” said Mikhal.

“We got to breath, take your time, and be objective. Don’t fight fire with fire when something happens and you need to react to it. Sometimes understanding people’s lenses, unconscious bias, and how they think is important and helps.” said Sheldon.

And here are the last advices from our panelists summed up.

“Don’t make assumptions. Be humble. Listen to others more, and talk less. Be courageous, curious, and ready for the ups and downs. And lastly, stand up for someone so that they won’t feel alone.”

Thank you for our amazing panelist for the insightful discussion. We hope all of us can learn to be a better leader, and a more inclusive one at that.