The study finds that men and women have similar career aspirations, leadership behaviour and push and pull factors for career moves. However, it also reveals how even small differences can result in noticeably different outcomes. Currently, a man starting his career in a FTSE 100 organisation is 4.5 times likelier to reach the Executive Committee than his female counterpart. The blockage is at the top: senior women are two times less likely to be promoted but four times less likely to leave than male peers.
Despite many companies trying hard for many years, these findings highlight how companies are still not doing enough to support and encourage females to reach the top. This is a critical business issue. Indeed, from my conversations with senior leaders since launching the research, there is common agreement that further change is needed. Our practical suggestions in the report are clearly only the start.
What can organisations do?
We highlight three key things that organisations can do:
Men also have just as much of a role to play as women in role-modelling behaviour which inspires women lower down the pipeline. The study highlights how women alone cannot drive change for gender equality. To deliver fundamental change in the future, leaders need to be more honest about the strategic importance of gender diversity. They must also show a personal interest in the issue of getting women to the top. Feel free to get in touch with any feedback or comments on the research, I would love to hear from you.