Do enterprise organizations struggle to include new voices?

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Chief Information Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I’ve seen instances of power inequity where certain people that grew with the company have more power than those who didn’t. If you’re a newcomer it’s a challenge to figure out how to become part of that inner circle. From any CIO I talk to, I do get the sense that they’ve had similar experiences, but nobody calls it out.
Member Board of Directors in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
That's difficult to address. You have a team that has grown up together, who either started the company or joined the company pretty early on with founders and CEO, etc., so they have an affinity for each other. They play golf together or they party together and it's very difficult to break in, not just for women, but for anyone that comes afterwards. I've been part of environments where there were cliques, especially among the early executives that shaped the company.

It's okay to have that structure as long as you can be effective as the latecomer, because I don't know how you could disrupt it. this and You might not be invited to birthday parties or golf games, but if you are included as a leader from the business perspective, I think that's fine. We're all humans and regardless of any party lines, we want to associate with people we want to be associated with. That’s okay as long as we don't create discrimination and everyone can participate equally from the business perspective. 
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
It sounds too simplistic, but the most important thing a leader can do is make sure that everyone believes that they have the right to contribute in almost any circumstance. A lot of us grew up in an environment where you're meant to be seen and not heard until spoken to, but if you allow even the perception of that to occur in meetings, people will walk away believing that's what you expect.
2 1 Reply
Chief Information Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I totally agree, it's not assumed and you have to make it explicit. In smaller companies, sometimes there’s a top-down approach and I have always been in large companies where it's more bottom-up. When I joined ZoomInfo I said to my team, “I really appreciate push back. I don’t want all of us to think the same way because then we're not creating a diversity of thought.” I had to say it multiple times to ingrain it, until I started being the last one to say something. 

Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
When the 4,000 person firm I was working at was purchased by a 130k person firm our voices were immediately silenced. The majority of our IT team was practically muzzled. My solution was to network like crazy. I made it my mission to meet and build connections in every department I could with employees at every level. And 90% of the time when answer a phone and later texts, I opened with “How can I help you today?” If you help someone now, when you need help in the future you have a better chance of getting help. Plus if you know more people you become the go to guy when people need help finding the right contact. In a huge company that is extremely valuable and even recognized as needed in performance reviews.

It’s hard to teach networking skills. Those skills are the solution though. One mechanism is to have a solid catalog of who does what. It can help some to get connections made but to get a voice up to the decision makers thru non-standard channels you need to have relationships which take time to build
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees
I think most do, but it also depends on how much support the new person will have from the hiring manager how the new person will be presented to the rest of his peers. For example, If he is being hired by the CEO and he is introduced to all the VPs and the CEO points out that he/she expect the new person to bring new ideas and processes, his/her voice might have a better chance of actually being heard. This is hard to achieve and most organizations failed to do.

Naturally, someone that has been in the organization for a longer period might feel that they know the way things work there and felt like someone new will not understand how things are done. In reality, a new voice can identify a problem or issues that everyone else got used to. This is hard to address, and it has to come from the very top that every voice matters and just because someone is new does not mean he/she should have less of an opinion or influence. 

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Chief Technology Officer in Software, 51 - 200 employees
My personal experience. 

I usually get the feedback and go back with data driven analysis providing details to cross leaders to understand the context and make decision basis data and and not gut feeling. 
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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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