A recent study carried out by the Observer has found that some of the UK's top private companies have no female representation on their boards.
Within the study, over half of the 100 private companies, although only represented by men, do embrace transparency and publish details of their boards.
In their defence, one of the private companies, GALA Coral insists that even though there is no female representation the directors had been selected on their calibre, not gender.
One company who admitted their organisation still "had work to do", was Virgin trains and suggested they needed to improve gender equality.
An industry expert has suggested that in today, woman are finding it easier to break through the glass ceiling in their career, compared to previous years.
Role models for younger women today play a big part in encouraging women to aspire to high level careers.
In today's society there is more emphasis on flexible working and legislation which is enabling women to progress further with their chosen careers even though they have demanding family responsibilities.
Although we see more appetite for flexible working, there is still discrepancy in the number of females in senior roles in organisations and as part of the governments key agenda points targets must be achieved whilst they are still in power.
allmumkind’s Diversity statement
allmumkind is committed to equality for parents who are seeking a better work-life balance through flexible working and the opportunity to continue building a successful career. We identify the desire for many women post motherhood, with a wealth of experience and skills to secure and sustain senior positions. This drives our focus in running a progressive and successful business.
Our service towards candidates will ensure we advertise and market our site through a diverse range of mediums, which do not discriminate and respect individuals. We will follow policies and regularly monitor data and update where necessary.
Our aim and continued drive is to work with companies who place diversity at the top of their recruitment and employment policies. We can support companies to hire flexibly which will enable them to benefit from;
- Achieving better retention and commitment
- Create a diverse working culture/environment
- Achieve better standards of motivation and morale
- Better understanding of different markets
- Reduce turnover and costs on repeat recruitment fees
- Although diversity is good in itself, it has been measured that it is beneficial for business
We believe that in today’s working community, organisations perform more successfully through building a diverse workforce.
A City survey identified that women in Financial Services were being paid 21% less than their male colleagues performing a similar role. This percentage converts to around £30,000 less in complete pay which includes bonuses.
With large City firms focussing on their diversity policies, the research shows that women are still behind when it comes their financial reward.
Not only does the gap need to be drastically narrowed for equality reasons but more importantly, to attract top talent regardless of gender. Retention of talent here is significant also when the economy is in such a downturn.
The Home Secretary and Equalities Minister, Theresa May enforced "gagging" clauses in contracts back in 2010 to discontinue City workers discussing their pay. Since the enforcement of this clause, there appears to be little effect.
Nearly 2000 City professionals took part in a survey which showed that overall, employees were less satisfied with their base salary. The results also showed that the pay rises were less common in comparison to 2010.
There has been a rise in women on boards, however a report by Deloitte has found that the positions are non-executive positions rather than the more sought after executive roles.
It is still proven that men take the more important nine out of ten positions on boards and this activity still happened even though the government put gender diversity at the top of their agenda.
This agenda point has arisen from Lord Davies who has put pressure on UK businesses to have 25% of female representation on their boards by 2015.
A target of 30% has been indicated as a target by David Cameron, which so far has had the backing of many of the UK’s biggest companies.
According to Cranfield School of Management eleven FTSE 100 companies still do not have any female representation at all on their board.
One company employing almost 50% of female representation on their board is Diageo and in second place is Burberry with over a third of females sitting on their board.
There has been some improvement since the late 90’s where around only 8% of females sat on FTSE 100 boards. Since then, this figure has doubled.
Vive la difference!
“Diversity is not about how we differ. It’s about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” ~ Ole Joseph
“Minds are like parachutes – they only function when they are open” ~ Sir James Dewar
Diversity. It seems to be the latest corporate buzz word, but do we know what it REALLY means?
My company is in the publishing industry and their policy statement is to “Promote respect, inclusion and participation in the workplace”. Succinct and to-the-point, but what are the values and mind-sets behind such a sound bite? In conducting some further research I managed to find the following statement:
“Our aim is to keep Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of what we do. Our commitment to reflect the global world in which we operate starts with our leaders. We took the lead in our industry as the first learning company to establish a proactive Diversity and Inclusion team and policy.”
All very positive and encouraging, I’m sure you’ll agree, but I couldn’t find anything which specifically stated that staff would be treated equally regardless of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, other. I guess in these “politically correct times”, that by even stating these differences, is highlighting them. Are we are all supposed to be genderless, ageless, sexless and the same? From a company’s point of view, yes we are. In reality, does this really happen?
There’s been some interesting diversity news from the financial services industry recently; at the behest of New York City’s public pension funds, two of the biggest financial companies with headquarters in the city, Goldman Sachs and MetLife, have agreed to publicly disclose information about the racial and gender breakdowns of their staffs. I’ve yet to hear how this has been received but I’m sure the response will be interesting. What prompted such a request has yet to be identified – why should it matter? I guess the statistician’s need to be kept in a job…?
From my own point of view I’ve never let being a woman place any restrictions on achieving my goals and targets, despite constant media reminders that women are not (generally speaking) as successful in the workplace. Women ARE however treated differently to men; we’re paid differently for a start. There are hundreds of reference points to be found which highlight the difference in male and female pay structures, for doing exactly the same work. Unfair? You betcha!
However the tide is turning, as there are more CEO’s and senior female executives in at board level in business than there has ever been, which can only be good news. In fact in a UK government-commissioned report on FTSE 100 board diversity, released just over a year ago, Lord Davies recommended a minimum target of 25 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015.
I feel that the media also has such an important part to play in the whole diversity issue. Until they stop highlighting stories such as Thatcher being the first female PM in the UK, and Obama being the first black American president, then there are always going to be diversity issues.
“Variety is the spice of life” ~ Proverb
Vive la difference, I say!
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In recent research it has been found that there are an increasing number of businesses within the UK who are actively pressing ahead with their diversity agenda making this a boardroom priority point.
Businesses are becoming more aware that a “one sized” hiring method does not necessarily fit all organisations and changes are being made to move away from this. This demonstrates the working environment in which we work is changing around us and for the better.
Interestingly, figures have shown that companies promoting and working towards improved diversity policies are pushing ahead within their sectors.
Some of the City’s biggest employers are reflecting their diversity through a range of initiatives. Apart from flexible working, equal pay and women securing senior positions, one company, BNY Mellon ensures that every employee has diversity and inclusion goals in their annual performance plan. They believe this is an integral part of the business strategy.
Flexible working is a popular initiative for large firms to offer to everyone. This is just one key initiative implemented by Berwin Leighton Paisner, an international Law firm who now sets bands and medians for every staff level. Payments to all staff are audited as part of their annual salary review. They promote transparency by offering gender split results of all staff group and take the responsibility to include women partners on all key committees.
Theses are just some of the new and positive steps global firms are taking in demonstrating and promoting gender diversity.
A leading global consultancy believes that even if it costs more to hire women, it will actually pay dividends in the long run. The executive chairman, Christine Hodgson of CapGemini UK says “The cost of offering flexible working, generous maternity leave and other benefits to encourage women to stay on is easily covered by the savings made by not having to recruit and train new staff who leave. She emphasises the importance of retaining women with experience and knowledge of their business rather than erode this and incur additional recruitment costs to replacement them if they decide to leave. To minimise turnover of staff is crucial.
These are just some of the actions that companies are taking responsibility for. There is a long way to go for participating businesses and not including the companies who are even yet to consider a diverse policy. An environment with a diverse policy is important but what is even more effective is a company who encourages their workforce as individuals to take that responsibility.