Training programme aims to develop future women leaders 

The Financial Skills Partnership is looking to develop a programme to support leading female executives as a step on from its successful training programme aimed at developing leadership skills among women managers.

The FSP launched its Through the Glass Ceiling programme last year and the second round is due to start in March. It has also started consulting on a programme that supports the needs of women who are already MDs, CEOs and in their first board appointments.

The Through the Glass Ceiling programme is part of a wider initiative recently launched by the FSP called Leadership 21st Century. The FSP says this “aims to help the financial services sector restore its global reputation and rebuild consumer confidence by focussing specifically on the effectiveness of boards and good governance in the industry”.

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Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) says: “The advantage of increasing the number of women on boards is clear; boards perform far better if people come from a range of diverse backgrounds. It is very important to work with business leaders to create avenues of growth to help lead a new generation of women to top boardroom positions.”

“While there has been a significant increase in the number of women on boards since the Lord Davies Report was published, the UK hasn’t yet reached the level the report recommends be achieved by 2015, of 25 percent. Many businesses could still do more to ensure they attract and recruit board directors from a wider pool, improving gender representation and other forms of diversity on their boards.”

Sunday marks the second anniversary of Lord Davies’ Report Women on Boards which recommended that FTSE 100 boards should aim for a minimum of 25 percent female representation by 2015. Two years on, figures show that female representation on corporate boards has increased to 17.3 percent, up from 12.5 percent.

Field says: “Our programme supports women and aids them with tools to navigate an environment that has previously been noted for gender bias. Companies have to work together to promote a culture of gender equality and create talent pipelines, not just at board level but from the ground up. It’s very encouraging that gender representation in boardrooms across the UK is becoming more equal, along with changing company culture and, with the help of programmes like Through the Glass Ceiling, businesses can maximise the potential of the staff they already employ.”

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