Jo Salter, who was listed as one of the UK’s Top High-Performance Experts, sat down with The Female Lead to discuss her experience of working in a male-dominated environment. As Britain's first female fast jet pilot, Jo understands the value of inclusive teamwork and leadership, two topics she explores in this interview.Hear from the former RAF pilot herself and learn the impact of corporate culture on inclusion, wellbeing, teamwork and leadership, and more.
Why is inclusivity important in teamwork and leadership?
“Inclusive leadership for me is about understanding the people that you are working with and coming to them with a humility that respects who they are and what they bring to the team.
“It's really understanding your own impact and having that self-awareness - the experiences that you've lived with might not be the experiences and the view that others have.
“I think that the benefit that brings is people can bring themselves to work, they can be authentic with who they really are and focus on performance rather than anxiety.”
What impact does corporate culture have on employee well-being?
“When you think about turning up to work every day, we bring all the anxieties that we have from our childhoods, from our everyday lives, all the different stresses.
“The culture within which we work and how safe we feel psychologically has a massive impact on our ability to feel happy and included.
“Really that culture, of course, is made up of all the people that are within your organization.”
What can women in male-dominated industries do to tackle gender exclusion?
“As a woman who lived in and worked in a very male-dominated sector, I would say to other people that it's so important to be yourself. We sometimes think that we should change who we are.
“I certainly did that when I was younger. I think, if you can just be honest with who you are and again, be authentic - which is a theme that I bring to almost everything I do.
“Put your brave boots on and don't accept things if they're not all right. Because again, we are human beings who are trying to achieve and succeed. That diversity of thought and diversity of individuals is what helps build a high-performing team.”