With the shocking news today from the Hampton-Alexander Review on FTSE Women Leaders ; we could be forgiven for thinking that we are living in 1918 and not 2018.
The full report for 2018 is not due until the end of June but this foreshadows something ugly.
Diversity and Inclusion are vital parts of being seen as an employer of choice and to those of you hard at it, fantastic stuff. For the rest, no matter how large or small your organisation, you and people like you, ignore this at your peril.
Being seen as competent in this area simply is not going to cut it, we need proactive behaviours, both visible and thorough in attaining status as diversity and inclusion champions.
When reading these you have to ask, if the enfranchisement of women took place in 1917 and liberation came across the years, what is this really about?
Here are the top 10 reasons espoused by the companies involved, take a deep breath before reading and keep reminding yourself that this is 2018.
- “I don’t think women fit comfortably into the board environment”
- “There aren’t that many women with the right credentials and depth of experience to sit on the board – the issues covered are extremely complex”
- “Most women don’t want the hassle or pressure of sitting on a board”
- “Shareholders just aren’t interested in the make-up of the board, so why should we be?”
- “My other board colleagues wouldn’t want to appoint a woman on our board”
- “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up”
- “We have one woman already on the board, so we are done – it is someone else’s turn”
- “There aren’t any vacancies at the moment – if there were I would think about appointing a woman”
- “We need to build the pipeline from the bottom – there just aren’t enough senior women in this sector”
- “I can’t just appoint a woman because I want to”
Further into the article….
Sir Philip Hampton, the senior City figure who is leading the review, said companies were still a long way off from meeting the 2020 target.
“We used to hear these excuses regularly a few years ago, thankfully much less so now.
“However, leaders expressing warm words of support but actually doing very little to appoint women into top jobs – or quietly blocking progress – are really not much better.”
And Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said such “appalling” excuses proved companies have more work to do.
“It’s shocking that some businesses think these pitiful and patronising excuses are acceptable reasons to keep women from the top jobs.
“Our most successful companies are those that champion diversity.”
We will look at the reasons why this is occurring in part 2 of this article, but suffice to say that if they are getting this wrong at board level, what hope for the BAME community, people with disabilities or members of the LGBT community?
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