Government select committee to find out how UK can increase the number of women in executive positions
The Lord Davies Review has resulted in a 50% increase in the number of women in non executive positions on our FTSE100 boards. But why is this so important for individual businesses and the economy?
Having a senior management team which reflects society and a business which provides equal opportunity for every employee seems an obvious choice and something every business leader strives for. Statistics, however, show us this is not happening, either in the FTSE 100 or in our SMEs. The EY report “Is Gender Diversity profitable?” released last week, based on research from 91000 companies across 22 countries, again suggests that the payoffs of policies that facilitate women rising through the corporate ranks more broadly, could be significant.
Other research on US firms finds that mixed-gender boards outperform all-male boards (McKinsey 2012b) with profits up 48%, shares values up 35%.
Since the Lord Davies Review in 2011, policy makers have shown increasing interest in the representation of women not only within the FTSE 100, but also across the FTSE 250 and STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and there has been much talk about what needs to be done to achieve parity in representation and pay.
Many successful projects are already being delivered via a multitude of platforms, by large corporates, SMEs, the third sector and charities and whilst this is welcomed, it is not coordinated and much of it is not measured.
When I meet the deliverers of these projects, what I continually find is that they are focusing on 3 key areas, which align themselves to the conclusions drawn by my recent research for the British Chambers of Commerce into Women and Work within the SME environment.
It is clear that in order for women to participate fully in the UK workforce and achieve their individual and joint ambition, we need a coordinated strategy focusing on:
It is encouraging to note that politicians are realising that the acute shortage of women on FTSE 100 boards is just one symptom of a problem which starts in the classroom and continues through recruitment, retention and returnship and this needs tackling from a number of angles.
The government has recently announced that an independent review on increasing the number of women at the executive level in FTSE 350 companies will be led by Sir Philip Hampton, Chair of GlaxoSmithKline, with Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of UBM as his deputy chair.
This review aims to answer the question “Why are there so few women at the top?”
Committee Chair Maria Miller said
“Women have been gaining the best degrees at University for two decades and they make up half the graduate intake in many major companies, yet only a handful achieve executive level positions and females represent only 23% of senior management. It is concerning that business is not responding to the changing shape of the UK labour market at a time when we have more women in work than ever before.
The select committee will ask six key questions:
If you are involved in the delivery of a programme which supports women’s progress in the workplace and you would like to comment, or you are an individual with evidence which you feel is relevant, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org before the 15th March 2016.
I will be hosting an interactive discussion entitled 'Why Equality is the hottest topic at the board table' on the 23.3 at Eaves Hall as part of their Business Expo, book here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eaves-hall-business-expo-tickets-21553195187
Is a promotion or growing your business one of your New Year Resolutions?
If so, you cannot miss our Women on the Ladder day.
Join us on the 18th March 2016, for a rewarding development day and find out why Role Chartered Management training is different and so effective.
Click the link for more details:
Can you spare a few hours to inspire a young future female leader?
I am looking for 100 incredible women to join me at Preston’s College or Burnley College on the 8th March to take part in a very different kind of International Women’s Day event.
We want 100 senior women in Lancashire to help us inspire 100 female students, who may not be destined for Oxbridge, but who have been identified by their tutors as having a real ‘spark’. We want to show them that there are fabulous career opportunities in Lancashire and tell them what we do and why we love living and working in this fabulous county of ours.
If you can spare a few hours to tell a student about your role, take part in some lively debate and pass on some of your valuable experience to the next generation, please book using the links below or hit reply and we will reserve you a place.
The Preston event will take place from 9:00am – 2:00pm on the 8th March
The Burnley College event will take place from 4:00pm – 7.30pm on the 8th March
Please also forward this to any other women whom you feel may be interested.
A new guide launched today will help parents support their daughters as they make important decisions about their next steps.
Your Daughter’s Future was developed with the help of girls aged 12 – 16 who have a wide range of career goals, from politics to sport and midwifery. It sets out what support they want from their parents as they weigh up exam and careers options.
According to the Women’s Business Council, women remain much more likely to work in sectors traditionally regarded as female. 23.1% of women work in public administration, health or education, compared with 8.6% of men. In contrast, only 0.9% of women work in construction, (6.1% of men) and only 2.6% of women work in manufacturing (7.1% of men). This contributes to the gender pay gap.
Too often it is because young women lack advice and support to get into these careers and have too few female role models in these sectors to help challenge stereotypes. The girls involved in developing the guide were clear that they wanted support from parents, so long as their own views were heard and respected too. Parents also said they wanted to help, but did not always feel able to.
This guide was developed by the PSHE Association in conjunction with girls, parents and teachers from five schools, as well as Girl Guiding UK, Stylist magazine, the National Careers Council, and the Education and Employers Taskforce.
<document link to be added 23/10/2016>
While much has been done to encourage more girls into Stem subjects, new findings from O2 show that gender stereotypes are continuing to impact the career aspirations of young people and the extremely concerning news is that these gender stereotypes are present in the minds of children starting school. Recent O2 research has revealed that many children as young as four view careers in nursing, childcare or social work as better suited to women, while jobs geared towards problem-solvers and logicians – such as in engineering or scientific research – were deemed as more appropriate for men.
More worrying still, despite efforts to break the glass ceiling, when it comes to leadership roles, suits and briefcases continue to dominate, with one in four young people believing that running the country is a job for a man. Research among 2,000 under 18-year-olds found that more than half believed girls were more suited to be nurses, nannies or hairdressers.
More than one in four said men should be prime minister, the report by communications firm O2 found.
Most of the young people questioned said they turned to their parents for careers advice and more than half could not recall a local businessman or women visiting their school to talk about work.
This International Women’s day, 8th March, Role is working with North and West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Burnley Bondholders to ensure that 100 female college students will not only recall the day a local business person came to their college, it will hopefully be the day when they were inspired to follow a career they had not even considered before. 100 local female business owners, directors and managers will share their career journeys, alongside motivational discussion and debate and will top off the experience by enjoying lunch or afternoon tea together.
Lancashire can offer it’s young a wealth of opportunities in careers as diverse as cosmetic medicine to 'Grammy' winning audio technology, they can build global careers on their doorstep, they just need to us to tell them about it. If you think Lancashire is a great place to grow a career and you would like to inspire a future female leader, please contact Wendy Bowers email@example.com for further details.
By the way the motley crew on the photo are me and my three daughters who are from right to left, acting, teaching and not decided yet (and no...... we are not queueing for the ladies!)
If you enjoy my blogs, you can read more of my work in my book available here www.amazon.co.uk/Words-Walks-Wisdom-Wendy-Bowers/dp/1671172353