The culture within a company is key to enhancing gender diversity, according to HR and diversity consultancy, the Clear Company.
The insight comes after research found that promoting existing female talent is better for diversity than recruiting women.
The research, conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that while senior managers favoured a focus on recruiting more women, initiatives and programmes designed to support retaining and promoting women already in the pipeline had the greatest impact.
Female employees also said that retention and advancement in their roles were the most important obstacles to tackle.
Of those surveyed, 97 per cent of employee believed their organisations were committed to gender diversity. Despite this, only just over a quarter of women felt that they had benefited personally from their firm’s initiatives.
Speaking about the research, Kate Headley, Director at the Clear Company said, “These findings support what Clear Company has long understood to be the crux of the issue of gender inequality – company culture is pivotal in increasing female representation across an organisation in the long-term.”
“There is no use focusing on initiatives to get women through the doors if the culture is not conducive to the subsequent retention and promotion of this talent.”
“In fact, the attrition of high-potential females drafted in to improve representation can actually be more damaging to gender diversity levels long-term.”
“While companies often splash large amounts of money in a ‘scattergun approach’ to addressing this challenge, firms should focus on ensuring that recruitment processes are truly inclusive and that existing employees are thoroughly engaged, if they are to organically strengthen female talent pipelines in a sustainable way.”