How to get more women into senior leadership positions

A new white paper from looks at how to get more women into senior leadership positions.

Lendlease, women in leadership, white paper


Employers should look to explain the issues around gender pay audits to their staff through Q & A sessions or other forms of engagement and should not be afraid of two-way dialogues about the process, according to a new white paper on women in leadership.

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The white paper is based on a roundtable with HR and diversity heads from 11 leading firms held in December at the London HQ of Lendlease. The aim of the roundtables is to share ideas about and approaches to all aspects of career progression for women and flexible working.

Participants also suggested that employers should try to find ways to engage men and make the discussion around audits about gender equality rather than about women. It was also important to broaden out conversations to include other diversity issues, they stated.

Employers taking part included AXA, Bellway Plc, Carnival UK, Financial Times, Lendlease, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank, Surrey County Council, UBS and Wesleyan.

In addition to gender pay audits, the roundtable and white paper cover talent attraction and flexible job design, returner programmes and leadership, mentoring and sponsorship programmes.

Flexible working

On flexible working, Metro Bank spoke about how they make it clear in job adverts that you don’t need to tick all the boxes to apply. They said this had had a demonstrable impact on the number of women they have attracted.

Other tips included the importance of questioning the ways jobs have always been done, role modelling flexibility in teams, sharing positive case studies and using trial periods to bring people who are sceptical on side.

To convince these of the benefits of flexible working it was important to get evidence of the impact on well being and engagement, to encourage conversations about flexible working through focus groups and to provide flexible or agile working toolkits to line managers.

Participants discussed the fact that periods of extended leave would, due to changing demographics and the fact that people are going to be working longer, become the norm so it was important to develop support programmes for those who had been out of the workplace for several months or years.

They were also positive about the impact of personal development, sponsorship and mentoring programmes and said toolkits could be provided on sponsorship which would help people find their own sponsors.

The white paper can be downloaded free by filling in the form below.

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