It certainly is depressing when looking across the world at the make-up of company boards. Yes, progress is being made and many governments, including our own, have policies in place to ensure the decision-makers in boardrooms are more diverse. But it is not happening quickly enough.
Recent research claims there are less than three women on boards in 77% of the countries trading across the world. Even more startling is the fact 25% of countries have ZERO female representation on half of their company boards.
Concerned? Yes, but are we really surprised? Maybe not, but how well are we doing in the UK in the global challenge to improve female representation? We are certainly not within the top three, so no gold, silver or bronze this time!
In terms of the average percentage of women on boards, the UK is placed at number 12 (2.8%) which is well behind France (5.2%), which has the highest percentage and Germany (4.6%) in second place amongst the 16 countries worldwide known as Global Diversity Champions (https://www.theknowledgeacademy.com/blog/women-on-business-boards-the-16-global-diversity-champions/).
Commentators suggest that this issue could be attributed to what happens to women who return to work after a career break, as well as perceptions about women’s potential; stereotypes; an absence of role models and a lack of mentoring.
Without gender diversity there are missed opportunities for more informed decision making, perspectives are limited and there is likely to be less debate, thus not always healthy.
Furthermore, considering the importance and influence of good role models, the lack of female role models within senior positions is worrying and will inevitably stifle the aspirations of women, thus, the status quo remains unchallenged.
We cannot afford such a rich talent pool to remain largely untapped any longer!
Knowledge Academy (2017) ‘Women on Business Boards: The 16 Global Diversity Champions’. [Online]. Available: https://www.theknowledgeacademy.com/blog/women-on-business-boards-the-16-global-diversity-champions/ [Accessed 3 October 2017].
CIPD (2016) ‘Why are there so few women at the top?’ [Online]. Available: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/why-are-there-so-many-women-at-the-top_2016-april_tcm18-14006.pdf [Accessed 3 October 2017].