While changing organisational culture is an immense undertaking and takes significant time and commitment, incremental change can be achieved by adapting particular HR processes and policies to ensure a level playing field for both women and men. The project looked specifically at the human resource management processes that impact on the progression of women’s careers and, subsequently, on gender balance in key decision-making roles in organisations. Research to inform the best practice model and toolkit was conducted on organisational processes and employees’ experiences of recruitment and selection, performance management and succession planning practices in three large multinational organisations, one large private organisation, one semi-state employer and three higher education institutions in the UK and Ireland.
The focus in this project was on practices rather than policy because it is at the implementation stage that individual attitudes on gender have an impact. The project’s particular focus on HR-related practices aims to encourage private and public sector employers to improve gender balance in key decision-making positions and encourage business schools across Europe to promote gender diversity in leadership positions through the training programme for undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience students on ‘Why gender balance on key decision-making committees makes good business sense’.
We know that a greater representation of women in decision-making positions facilitates progress towards more gender balance in organisations. Organisations need to harness the power of gender-balanced leadership as a means to understand the needs of their customers, tackle complex business challenges and turn insights into strategic advantages to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Failure to address this imbalance leaves organisations out of touch with the way the world is changing. Employers can access the best practice guide at http://www.gemprogress.com/images/BPG.pdf