Diversity & Inclusion
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Chris Norton

ASPL #WeLead Campaign  |  Vol.

30
Chris Norton
Chris is a family-oriented, former “failed” rock star who went into nursing so that he could have an impact on the lives of other people. As he has grown in his career, his focus and passion have always been about healthcare and the vitally important role it plays in our society.
“Having equal representation of women in business and in leadership roles is paramount to creating a diverse breadth of thinking. Through a more equitable gender diversity, organisations are able to have a range of insights that make their products and services more representative of the community.” — Chris Norton

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am family oriented former failed rock star who went into nursing so that I could have an impact on the lives of other people. As I have grown in my career my focus and passion have always been about healthcare and the vitally important role it plays in our society.

Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?

There has been a number. My mum and my sisters have always inspired me through their care and compassion and how they have dealt with any adversity with courage and conviction. In the first 10 years of my career I had two female nurse leaders who inspired me through their leadership style, their strength of resolve and the way they sought and valued the input of their teams. Over the last 10 + years I have had many more and am very lucky in my current role to be surrounded by strong, intelligent, brilliant women. The woman who inspires me most though is my wife. She is my rock and I am always in awe of her talent, intelligence and passion.

Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

Having equal representation of women in business and in leadership roles is paramount to creating a diverse breadth of thinking. Through a more equitable gender diversity, organisations are able to have a range of insights that make their products and services more representative of the community.

What more can be done to support women in male-dominated industries?

Firstly their needs to be an acknowledgment by businesses that there is still a problem that needs to be addressed. Highlighting the problem and then looking at what are the real options for addressing the issue. Some of the things I have seen start to have an impact include; having targets for equity of women in leadership positions; having a focus on gender pay equity and actively addressing it; having gender equitable parental leave programs that encourage their partners to play more of a role in parenting to support women who want to return to the workplace sooner.

What further steps can be implemented to encourage women supporting women?

Having formal programs like a “Brilliantly Connected Women” that encourages an open dialogue around the challenges and encourages women to support women.

How would you motivate women to “lean in”?

If in a relationship, have the open conversation with your partner about sharing the outside of work load, whether that be the household chores or the mental load about planning holidays, managing finances or planning social interactions.

How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion should be one of the top priorities for any leader and every business. Our workplace needs to be appropriately representative of the community and world we live in. By respecting and valuing the difference of people and ensuring they are included, leaders can empower the staff and the organisation to create the most value for its customers and society.

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