In the 18 months since Lord Davies’ report and the two years since the launch of the 30% Club, I’ve witnessed something of an epiphany in British businesses over the topic of women on boards. It’s now widely recognised that encouraging and enabling women to progress at every level of a company is good not just for those women but for businesses themselves. While we still need to work hard to achieve real balance, the pace of change is significant, and importantly, of course, it’s been achieved without resorting to the short term and illusory fix of a quota. I’m strongly of the view that if change is to be meaningful, businesses must own and lead the efforts – that way is the only way to achieve sustainable, long term positive changes in corporate culture, more opportunities for women and better results for all.
It’s important that this commitment to change comes from the organisations themselves but also that women have the chance to have their say in what this change should look like. This is about making companies a better place to work for everyone, and asking women how they think this can happen is a good place to start.
Everyday Talking Talent work with women across ages, levels and industries, to tackle the barriers to their career progression. By undertaking this survey they sought to benchmark the themes they are seeing throughout their coaching overall. The results offer an insight into the present situation for women in the workplace, as they see it, and their thoughts on future solutions and it gives us a pathway for change that is overwhelmingly unanimous; women from their twenties to seventies, at different levels and in different industries are in agreement on what they believe are the challenges and solutions.
In receiving over 2,500 responses, the research offers a robust understanding of what the needs of these women are, and therefore a high potential value for the UK businesses willing to invest in them. If businesses can be as clear in their actions in these areas for change as the women surveyed are in choosing them, real progress can continue to be made.