Interesting article around ensuring more women make it on shortlists for senior hires. I recently attended a travel industry forum hosted by Barclays which addressed gender and diversity.
Its own Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Wendy Papworth, highlighted the work she was doing to help women, particularly those returning to work after pregnancy or a long-term break. She said that 5 years ago, they looked at their dynamic working policies which were impressive but people were not using them enough. So they changed that by encouraging people to work from home or on flexible hours. Now globally 63% of their 90,000 colleagues work dynamically. It is there for both men and women I am pleased to say.
Looking at our industry (travel), there are increasingly more and more females in senior management positions. There are also more female MD's and CEO's, BUT there remains a serious disproportion versus males. The trend is moving in the right direction though.
Whilst every effort is made during a job search to include women on shortlists, this should not jeopardise the quality of the search. We ought to advocate the virtues of balance and diversity on these shortlists, rather than simply banging the drum for women to be more prominent on shortlists or in business. Avoid tokenism.
At the Barclays Travel Forum it was also highlighted that travel companies need to do more for the LGBT community. It needs to be driven from top down, part of the overall business strategy. The same applies to flexible working - it has to come from the top.
It's all about getting that diversity balance on both shortlists and indeed within our businesses where circumstances allow.
A recent report, published by Diversity VC, found that only 13% of leading roles in venture capital are filled by women, leading one recruiter to say that more women should be shortlisted for top jobs. Although private firms, such as venture capital organisations, don’t have targets for gender diversity amongst senior hires, they are being thrust into the limelight as publically-listed firms work towards a government target of 40% female Boards.