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#1 08-06-2018 07:45:47

Séniors National
Date d'inscription: 01-12-2017
Messages: 1540

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As Britain celebrated International Women?s Day Austin Howard Jersey , the government encouraged blue chip firms to invite more women into their boardrooms.

Chant?l du Plooy takes a look at where the UK currently stands on the issue of gender equality and what it will take for our country to finally get the balance right.

?Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All?

This year?s International Women?s Day marked its 99th anniversary with the slogan ?Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All?.

When Women?s Day was first held nearly a century ago, its purpose was to help women around the world with the fight against female discrimination, voting rights and better pay. Today, it is mostly dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and successes of women.

On the eve of this year?s annual celebration, Kathryn Bigelow, appropriately became the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar for her internationally acclaimed film The Hurt Locker.

If it took women 82 years of filmmaking to succeed in that category, however, how long will it take them to get onto the executive payroll?

Although Britain has come a long way in diversifying our companies, we are definitely not on standard yet. A recent study by the Government Equalities Office unveiled that 60 of the public feel that there aren?t enough female directors in big companies.

Rightly so, because according to the Cabinet Office, merely 10 of directors at our top 100 companies are women and 62 of FTSE 250 firms don?t have any female executives at all. At this rate, experts believe gender equality in boardrooms will only be evident by 2070.

?More serious action? is Bequired

On International Women?s Day, Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed his concern about the lack of gender equality in British companies.

?We all recognise the value of strong role models for women in all walks of life ? and there are many in politics, the arts, public services, sport and the third sector, but there are too few in Britain s boardrooms.?

He added that this was especially worrying considering the fact that more than half of graduates every year are female.

As a result, the government?s new Equality Bill will compel companies to reveal their strategies for hiring female talent; and a new parliamentary proposal, Women for Boards, will promote the issue.

However, if firms don?t comply, the Prime Minister said that the government will be forced to take ?more serious action to ensure companies recruit from the diverse pool of exceptional talent we have in the UK?.

The Benefits of Greater Equality

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, told Business Times Online that one of the reasons companies failed during the recent global financial crisis was because they weren?t diverse enough.

?If you can build a diverse workforce that you keep intact, you will do better in tough times.?

Silka Patel, an executive assistant at Cisco, added that a diverse team brings varied ideas.

?If we employ the same person again and again, we will never grow the company.?

A country that sets the standard for gender equality in businesses and the social arena is Norway. After Gro Harlem Brundtland became the first woman prime minister in 1981, the country started implementing female quotas of 40 within the public and private sectors.

Norway?s first male Minister of Children and Equality, Audun Lysbakken, recently told Forbes that gender equality is a business necessity, because when institutions exclude half of the available talent, their performance is more likely to suffer.

?By making gender equality mandatory through regulations and welfare reforms, we ve made it easier for women to work and have a family,? he added.

The Road Ahead

Gender equality doesn?t mean overlooking strong male candidates in order to recruit average female ones.

The new Equality Bill calls for ?positive action?, where companies will be encouraged to hire a person from a minority group over someone from a majority group if they are equally qualified.

However, at the end of the day, each boardroom seat should be given to the individual who is most capable of fulfilling the role.

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