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Balance for Better #IWD2019

Welcome to our latest edition of Expert Speak ‘Balance for Better’ from Karen Jackson, MD, CPM UK to support #IWD2019 

 

Did you know?……….

 

RETURN ON EQUITY

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%

RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%

RETURN ON SALES

On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 42%

Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians In the UK greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set; for every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5%

Source: McKinsey, Catalyst

 

This years theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter.

 

The aim is to build a gender-balanced world.

 

“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”

 

www.internationalwomensday.com

 

The gender ratio for the entire world population is 102 males to 100 females – a very gender balanced world I think!

 

It is also a fact that there is not a problem with female achievement and women now out-perform men in terms of educational attainment.  In addition, as women we are also “leaning in” and asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men and, contrary to conventional wisdom, we are now staying in the workforce – again at the same rate as men.

 

Therefore, to my very logical brain, it would make reasonable sense that the business world would be made up of a balanced number of equally paid males and females at every level within organisations.

 

So why are there only 30 women in full time executive roles at FTSE 250 companies (down from 38 last year), which amounts to just 6.4% of the total?  And why does the national Gender Pay Gap between males and females currently stand at 18.4%? (OfNS April 18).

 

I recognise that this is not an overnight fix and actually business and government are more committed than ever to balancing the gender equation.

 

Therefore, we need to push the agenda even harder and overall companies need to take more decisive action. We all need to start treating gender balance with as much importance as our other key business priorities like business growth and customer satisfaction.

 

This means holding our leaders and managers accountable for results, identifying and  closing gender gaps for both new hires but also for all promotions across the business. This certainly does not mean introducing any form of quota system but by first and foremost, having a talent attraction strategy that actively encourages and attracts gender balanced candidates for all roles within your business. Your recruitment process should be merit based, free from unconscious bias and should create excitement, foster confidence and bring out the very best in each and every candidate.

 

It also means creating an all-inclusive culture, where everyone feels supported, encouraged and given the confidence to progress their careers and achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of – I know I did!

 

At CPM we are committed to championing a Gender balanced workplace and recognise and understand that inclusion and diversity leads to greater business success. In our UK business, I am very proud to have a gender split of 42% Male, 58% Female and our UK board is split 50% female and 50% male. This is particularly pleasing for a sales organisation where typically “Women in Sales” usually account for less than 30%.

 

Having a diverse workforce based on opportunity and meritocracy is something that is deeply important to me and to CPM. As someone who has progressed through the business, I am passionate about creating development opportunities for anyone who wants them, whilst at the same time providing support programmes that give everyone – especially women – the confidence to progress their careers if they choose.

 

We work closely with our female employees to encourage and support the challenges they face with balancing their career & families, and to also build the confidence they sometimes lack to progress their careers. Our flexible working practices, part time roles, mentoring, support and sponsorship programmes, have not only driven positive gender balance across all roles within our business, but have also brought tangible benefits to both our Female and Male colleagues.

 

Whilst I recognise that there is always work to do to continually improve our business performance, culture and the diversity of our team, I am hugely proud of our progress to date and the engagement, passion, hard work and commitment from the CPM team.

 

Balance for Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Jackson,

MD, CPM UK

Balance for Better

#IWD2019 #BalanceforBetter

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