Women ‘need to devote an hour a week to career development’

The women in business group everywoman is launching a new campaign to get women to invest an hour a week on career development.

‘Ambition Hour’, an everywomanNetwork campaign, is calling women who work either for organisations or for themselves, to pledge one hour a week to explore their career goals and implement a plan to make them a reality.

everywoman say the need for women to take personal responsibility for their career development was highlighted in a research report generated by everywoman and Alexander Mann Solutions. The Focus on the Pipeline report showed that 63 per cent of HR leaders want to see women driving their own advancement. However, it says, many female middle managers expect their employers to take much – if not all – of the responsibility for career path clarity and opportunities for progression.

The women in business organisation says it is equally important for existing and potential female business owners to take charge of their own development and acquire the skills to support them as they grow their enterprises.

Maxine Benson, co-founder of everywoman, states: “Whatever level you’re at, you’ll be better equipped to navigate your way towards a fulfilling career if you drive your own development and work towards clear goals. Many skills aren’t generally taught at school or in further education – such as leadership, networking, presenting and delegating – and they are crucial to getting ahead.

“It often feels like a luxury to focus on ourselves but it’s critical and also extremely empowering. That’s why the everywomanNetwork has created Ambition Hour – your ring-fenced hour each week when you focus on your development and drive your ambition”, said Benson.

Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities, backs the campaign: “Drawing on women’s talents is crucial to grow our economy, and the Government is already taking a range of steps to help remove the barriers that hold women back.

“Think, Act, Report is a voluntary scheme that encourages companies to think about women’s equality in the workplace and now covers 1.3 million employees. We are also extending the right to request flexible working and changing the system of shared parental leave.

“The everywomanNetwork Ambition Hour campaign is vital in helping develop the skills of future female leaders. While government can help reform the business environment, encouraging women to invest time in planning their careers will result in a stronger pipeline of talented women coming through that will benefit everyone.”

The Getting Started Guide to Ambition Hour can be downloaded from www.everywoman.com/ambitionhour and the tools such as downloadable workbooks, case studies and seminars can be accessed through membership of the everywomanNetwork.

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