News this week: International Women’s Day #BreakTheBias

Published on: Tue 8 March 2022 by Jess Sandham

Every week, RightTrack Learning will be providing you with a round-up of the latest news, to help organisations just like yours.

Companies with female leaders outperform those dominated by men, data shows

What a fitting news story to start on this week, with the theme of International Women’s Day being #BreakTheBias.

According to House of Commons research, it has been revealed that companies with more female leaders outperform those dominated by men.

Labour Shadow Secretary for Women & Equalities, Annelise Dodds, accused the government of ignoring women’s needs during the pandemic and side-lining them in plans for recovery, even though the data showed women held the key to a stronger economy.

Dodds said “When you’ve got more engagement from women, when women are in the driving seat to the extent they should be, it makes for far more successful business.”

New global data, provided by Equileap for International Women’s Day, highlights that in the UK, women make up only 20% of executive team members, 13% have a female CFO and only 6% (that’s 13 companies!) have a female CEO. NatWest is the only company with both a female CEO and CFO.

Read the full article here.

It will take ‘about 30 years’ for the UK gender pay gap to be bridged at the top of finance.

Chief Executive of Aviva, Amanda Blanc, who was appointed by the Treasury as the women in finance charter champion a year ago, issued a warning that it will take approximately 30 years to reach gender parity at senior levels of the financial services industry at the “frustratingly slow” current rate.

As part of the statement Blanc confirmed that she had suggested proposals and recommendations to tackle the problem, such as:

  • Mandating shortlists for senior positions with 50% female representation
  • Greater use of psychometric testing in recruitment
  • Removing male-biased recruitment advertising
  • Creating diverse interview panels
  • Advertising all jobs as flexible
  • Formal sponsorship programmes for womens at all levels
  • Benefits packages that support women at key life stages including menopause

Blanc said “Women, companies and society cannot afford to wait 30 years when we can achieve this in 10.”

Read the full article here.

Caring roles block career advancement for three in five women

Research has found that three out of five women said that their caring responsibilities for children and other vulnerable or elderly relatives are preventing them from applying for a new job or promotion, whereas only one in five men say the same. Out of the 5,444 participants, 50% of carers from an ethnic minority say their responsibilities hold them back from career progression, compared to 39% of white carers.

BITC Gender Equality campaign director Charlotte Woodworth said that “instead of expecting women, for example, to somehow juggle it all, workplaces need to change.” The charity is encouraging the government and employers to offer new fathers more paid time off to help care for their newborns and that childcare responsibilities can be shared equally.

Read the full article here.

Covid has intensified gender inequalities, global study finds

Research, conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, found that women experienced greater negative impacts of the pandemic, socially and economically, than men.

The report highlighted that 26% of women experienced loss of work compared with 20% of men globally in September 2021. The research also showed that women and girls were also more likely to drop out of school and more likely to report an increase in gender-based violence than men and boys.

Senior author Prof Emmanuela Gakidou said “Action must be taken now to not only reverse the current disparities, but to further close the gaps present before the pandemic began.”

Read the full article here.

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