How to deliver positive gender ratio changes in a year

McKinsey’s analysis of the organisations pursuing gender diversity strategies shows that most are failing to achieve the progress they wantedAnchor. This means that they are either doing the wrong things or that they are being poorly implemented. We now have over 10 years of widespread experience of businesses trying to deliver gender balance and learning the lessons about what does and does not work. So if you haven’t embarked on your gender diversity journey, the good news is that your opportunity is to get it right first time.

This article will introduce you to the critical components which enable organisations who strategically and financially commit to accessing the benefits of delivering gender balance to start reaping the rewards within a year

Do I have to be like them?

It’s not something that anyone gets to see or sample during the interview process for a job. Nor is it something you can read about on an organisations website. And yet it can prove to be such a significant factor that it can determine how long you stay with the organisation and whether you look back on your experience as the best years or the worst years in your career. We’re talking about the behaviours which are accepted and expected as part of the character and culture of the organisation. In some organisations, or parts of an organisation (specific functions or teams), while there may not be overt pressure to conform to the signature set of behaviours (language style, content and phrases, interaction style) non-conformity can keep you on the outside as they act as your passport to being visible, legitimate and credible.

Why should I consider company ‘politics’?

Last night I was reading John Le Carré’s novel ‘The Perfect Spy’, and came across these few lines:

"In every operation there is a ‘above the line’ and a ‘below the line’. Above the line is what you do by the book. Below the line is how you do the job."

Should we employ men of child-bearing age?

If you were a fly on the wall of recruitment discussions involving non-HR leaders, especially in SMEs, you might well hear comments along the lines of ‘we just can’t afford to take the risk of employing men of child-bearing age’. It’s dangerous talk, but it is, perhaps understandable, when employers face the reality of male employees unreasonable and frequent demands for pay rises and promotions based on front rather than facts, that many employers baulk at the idea of employing men. They are too expensive when they work for you, and then, when they throw their teddy out of the pram for not meeting their demands and strop-off for a higher status job, you’re faced with recruitment and training costs and the performance time-lag until their replacement gets up to speed.

I am a woman and I AM an expert

Next week’s Northern Powerhouse Conference has only 13 women amongst the 98 speakers and there’s been uproar. The conference organisers are saying ‘don’t look at us, look at the organisations who we asked to put forward their experts’. Commentators are concluding that it’s either that these organisations don’t have female experts to contribute to this agenda or they’re not choosing women as their best option to speak. However, there is a third option, which is that women aren’t putting themselves forward as the expert. The reality is likely to be a combination of all three factors.

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