This imbalance between men and women is at its widest at the very top where only 6% of companies in Ireland have a female on their board. At a time when organisations are being challenged by the dynamic global economic environment to find an effective method to achieve economic growth and stability, we cannot afford to waste any of the resources at our disposal in our aim to remain competitive and to harness market share.
Why does gender balance matter?
It is increasingly accepted that closing the gender gap at the top of organisations is a win for everyone. Studies show strong links between gender balance and financial performance, innovation, competitiveness and corporate governance.
- · Superior financial performance
- · Good governance
- · Winning the talent war
- · Customer focus
- · Brand and reputation
Today more and more employers are active in promoting the advancement of their male and female employee’s careers. Many have engaged in a range of supportive measures aimed at increasing the gender balance such as, flexible working arrangements, mentoring and sponsorship, and leadership development programmes, but fundamentally the representation of men and women in key decision-making and leadership roles has not changed to any great degree.
Gender balance at the top means success for both women and men. When the talents of women and men are merged in a culture that puts skills, professionalism and results first, the outcome is not necessarily a redistribution of power and resources but a win-win situation leading to a greater outcome for all stakeholders.
Yet the achieving of gender balance requires new thinking and innovative approaches and ways to address the varied obstacles causing problems. What is needed is a business response to what is in essence a business problem. This topic is gaining significant attention in a range of circles nationally and internationally and attached are some of the key pieces of research and thinking in this area for your review.
Monday, 15 June 2015