A lack of gender diversity in business, in particular in senior management positions, is costing UK businesses.
In their report ‘Retaining and Advancing women in Business: A model for success’, everywoman have found that despite high profile campaigns to tackle female inclusion and the gender pay gap, progress is worryingly slow, as 36% of British business have no women in their senior team. A report by Business in the Community estimated this costs £23billion to the UK economy.
The report found that uncovering and elevating female role models is a powerful means of encouraging career progression. In a survey of its members, some 74% of respondents said a female role model inspires them to develop their careers.
Some 81% of women who regularly use a range of learning and development resources feel it enables them to develop.
With growing acknowledgement that gender balanced teams produce more effective teams, the report found that diverse teams were better at driving a return on equity and operation results.
Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman said: “This research shows that when women have access to role models and learning opportunities they develop faster and further along the talent pipeline. It confirms that it is possible to show a return on investment for committing to engaging, retaining and advancing female employees.
“This report speaks to business leaders, HR professionals, learning and development specialists and diversity and inclusion champions demonstrating the necessity to build a solid business case for gender diversity within their organisations and reap the rewards that gender parity offers.”
everywoman is calling on businesses to implement three key recommendations based on the report:
- Ensure leadership teams are visibly committed to achieving gender parity
- Establish initiatives to drive mentoring and champion role models across the business
- Develop a solid business case demonstrating a clear return on investment and measure on-going success