There isn’t a day that goes by now without the latest figures on female participation in the economy.
Just this week we’ve been hearing that women make up only 8% of engineers in the UK and at a school level 49% of state schools have no girls studying physics.
We have also had an announcement of following a Review by Sir Philip Hampton and Dame Helen Alexander that a new target has been set to get women occupying one in three of the most senior executive positions in major businesses in the UK by 2020.
This builds on the 33% target of women on FTSE boards by 2020 and the Scottish Government’s target of a 50:50 gender split on all public boards in Scotland in the same year.
So many targets. So many challenges.
It’s time for all businesses across the UK to rise to the challenge, to raise their game and seriously focus on growing our economy.
We need to really look behind the issues as to why engineering, IT and STEM careers are still not attracting the number of talented women out there today.
We also really need to take a long and hard look at the role of women themselves in the workplace. Why is it that women continue to be less likely than men to ask for promotions and pay rises?
All of these considerations and questions are complex and not one answer will solve the problem.
More and more now we also need men to step up to the plate and take their role seriously to promote gender equality.
The message needs to be loud and clear. It’s not just the right the thing to do but it’s the right business decision.
Actions speak louder than words.
Male and Female Role models are great for showing everyone what can be achieved and can support others to rise up and achieve their ambitions. We need to look at the benefits of mentors for women – particularly for those who wouldn’t normally push themselves forward for promotion or board opportunities.
And we need to continue to push the economic evidence and data that will convince business leaders that equality in the workplace is a business imperative.
At GenAnalytics we can form part of the solution for this complex problem. We have a track record, a passion and a commitment to working with businesses to help them understand where their diversity challenges begin, to understand their data and to provide them with a series of recommendations and a road map to improving equality.
What gets measured get done.
If we can all take responsibility and play our part, we can truly change the conversation and improve opportunities for women in all sectors of the economy.
Importantly we will also unleash economic growth otherwise unachievable if the status quo remains.
GenAnalytics is a specialist marketing and insights consultancy focussed on diversity in the workplace.