Gender diversity
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Member Article

The benefits of a diverse workforce

This is a moment in history as all-male boards in the FTSE 350 companies become a thing of the past. The 30% Club, founded in 2010 to increase gender diversity, reported in February that there was at least one woman on every FTSE 350 company board. It’s been on the cards for years with the government-backed Hampton-Alexander review pushing to increase numbers to at least 33 percent of women in senior leadership positions and on company boards by end 2020 – a target reached and exceeded already this year.

The milestone of all-male boards disappearing is further confirmation that gender diversity is being taken seriously and that organisations and leaders are no longer talking the talk but walking the walk. We’ve come a long way…

Why it matters

There’s been multiple studies around diversity in the workplace but one that stands out comes from McKinsey. They report that ‘companies with more than 30 percent women executives are more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30, and in turn these companies are more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none at all.’ The findings that 48 percent outperformance separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies cannot be ignored.

“Gender diversity makes a massive difference to the performance of a business,” says Chris Notley, Managing Director at Chamberlain. “It’s encouraging to see that more and more companies are seeking talented female leaders to bring in differing opinions and reduce groupthink, which will ultimately increase the fortunes of the business.”

New ways of thinking

Women make up 51 percent of the UK population – it’s the biggest untapped resource in the marketplace and with mounting evidence that diverse companies make better, bolder decisions that help gain a competitive edge, it’s hard to see a future where non-diverse workforces remain in the majority.

And when you consider that up to 80 percent of all consumer purchase decisions are made by women, it’s not surprising that hiring more women in leadership roles and board rooms across the UK is seen as critical in anticipating shifts in consumer behaviour.

But we’re not there yet

Even though studies overwhelmingly cite the positives of senior female leadership, there is still a massive underrepresentation of women at the very top – for example, the Pipeline’s Women Count 2020 report found that in the largest 100 London-listed companies, the total number of female chief executives was the same as the number of bosses named Peter – just six!

A better future with gender equity

We’re living in an era of change and disruption where many norms have been broken so perhaps now is the perfect time to break old habits and increase the representation of women leaders in the workplace. The winning formula that generates a tenfold increase in profit margins is reported as being when women make up more than one in three executive roles. Diversity, it seems, is good for business.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Chamberlain Career Management .

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