March 15, 2023
Coaching, mentoring or sponsorship can help women increase their self-confidence and career success, as well as empowering them to invest in their own self-development.
Some time ago, I attended a discussion on gender diversity, which was one of the latest in a series of webinars held by City & Guild Foundation, offering thought provoking conversations about how organisations can take actionable steps to promote and improve inclusion and diversity
I had the pleasure of being part of an all-female panel, which included Alexandra Evrenioff, Managing Director at Involve, Sonya Byers, CEO at Women in Transport and Charly Young MBE, CEO at The Girls’ Network.
One of the key points, was the fact that businesses need to not just focus on quantitative data, but focus on qualitative data to create personalised solutions to support female talent. This remains true now.
Around one in five organisations reported improved gender equality (21%) and ethnic equality (18%) as current priorities, according to the CBI and Pertemps latest Employment Trends Survey, but with many firms still needing to act to improve gender and ethnic equality, as well as social mobility, and the experience of disabled employees.
It’s important for businesses and leaders to speak to people in a way that resonates with them. If we talk purely in a male-dominated language, we are cutting off a large percentage of women.
But all genders need to be involved to understand the issues women face to enhance mutual understanding and drive change. Training needs to be an essential part of the recruitment process, from onboarding to progression.
It’s evident there has been significant improvement in the gender diversity realm. According to the Hampton-Alexander review, over 70% of FTSE 100 companies now have four or more women around the board table. Only three companies have two or fewer women today, compared to 42 companies with two or fewer women around the board table in 2015.
Businesses need to bolster their efforts to understand the issues women and employees from more diverse backgrounds face, through leadership, training and development opportunities in order to take meaningful action and address the challenges we collectively come across.
As a country, we need to create more female role models and recognise their achievements. This is why I am such a supporter of events such as the Women of the Year Awards which Pertemps has been proud to sponsor for several years.