Leaky pipeline: Plugging the female pipeline of talent

The discussion surrounding how to get more women in senior roles is an ongoing debate, which won’t be solved until we figure out how to strengthen the female pipeline of talent.

Leaky pipeline- Plugging the female pipeline of talent (F)
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Some strides are being made in several industries, however in the US a 2015 CEO Success study by Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business, found that just 10 women were among the 359 incoming CEOs at the world’s 2,500 largest companies.

Many businesses are working to facilitate the promotion of female leaders from within their organisation, however studies have found that women are more likely than men to enter the CEO role when they are hired from the outside.

Across all industries companies are looking for the silver bullet to ensure that the pipeline behind the CEO is strong, however the reality is that most businesses have a leaky pipeline that requires a lot of improvement.

Despite the dire figures there are many companies that are looking to ensure they cultivate a robust pipeline of qualified women within their management ranks. For example the companies that sponsored WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star awards this year are working to close the leadership gap and fill the pipeline with female talent.

The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions as well as celebrating the hard work and support of our Rising Star Champions.

This year the awards were entered by 850 individuals and were judged by a panel of 21 independent judges. Over 28,000 public votes were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 118 countries.

Lead sponsor of the awards, Barclays, said it fully supports strengthening the female pipeline. Mark McLane, Managing Director, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC, said: “We are delighted to be the lead sponsor of the Rising Star Awards which recognises the achievements of talented women on their way to the top; the contributions they make to their organisations and society in general.

“At Barclays we have a range of programmes which develop and support female talent as they progress through the Bank. Our management training encourages the building of diverse teams and maximising the skills of all our talent, enabling colleagues to truly be themselves and unleash all their potential.”

Several other sponsors express their desire to strengthen the female pipeline of talent.

Victoria Darragh, Chief Executive, Executive & Personal Assistants Association, said: “On behalf of EPAA, we are absolutely delighted and honoured to be involved as a sponsor for the The Rising Star Awards 2016! For a profession that historically isn¹t even considered a profession by many, this signifies a step closer to our aim of being considered an integral part of a business/organisation and worthy of standing amongst the fellow female pipeline.”

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “Supporting the growth of female entrepreneurs not only drives diversity within UK businesses but it also creates an environment for future entrepreneurial heroines to flourish and succeed, empowering future generations to succeed in business.

“I’m extremely proud that Virgin Media Business are sponsoring a fantastic category which will inspire our future leaders.”

James Warren, Managing Director, Twenty Recruitment Group, said: “Appreciation, respect and celebration of diversity and eclecticism is at the very core of our business and one of the values which our company was founded. This is why we believe so strongly in being able to work with candidates and clients to ensure recruitment processes see truly talented individuals be respected and have equal opportunity to prosper and excel in their careers.

“Organisations like WeAreTheCity raising the profile of the female talent pipeline, and the subject of diversity in general, are making significant strides forward in breaking down some of the pre-historic barriers that unfortunately in places still exist; and in doing so are mirroring a message that we believe to be incredibly important about the celebration of talent and ability regardless of its form. We therefore are hugely proud to continue to partner with WATC again for the Rising Star Awards in 2016.”

Alison Baker, Head of UK Oil & Gas, PwC, said: “Attitudes continue to evolve and, for this generation of ambitious young women, they not only expect to work but to build successful, senior level careers in whatever sector they choose. Within the oil and gas sector, and the energy industry more broadly, tackling gender diversity and building and retaining a strong pipeline of talent can deliver a multitude of benefits.

“Fresh perspectives and improved decision making to enhanced stakeholder trust, these all serve to strengthen an organisation¹s competitive edge. Initiatives such as our Igniting Change campaign with POWERful Women and WeAreTheCity’s Rising Stars awards recognise the fantastic achievements made by women at differing stages of their careers and provide inspiration to those who aspire to climb the career ladder in their chosen field.”

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