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11th March 2019

Advancing women in the workforce is not a priority for firms worldwide

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The latest research from IBM has found that advancing women in the workforce is not a priority for firms worldwide, and the gender gap in leadership will likely persist until 2073 without corporate action.

IBM polled 2,300 executives and business professionals across all industries about their initiatives to close gender leadership gaps. The key findings from the study found:

  • 79% of respondents haven't prioritised achieving gender equality among leaders within their organisation, despite research proving that gender equality and diversity leads to higher profits.
  • Women held only 18% of senior leadership roles.
  • 65% of men interviewed believed they were just as likely as women to be promoted, despite their being a lack of women in leadership positions.

However, the study did point to several initiatives that organisations should implement to promote gender equality, which include:

  • Use performance indicators to advance women in an organisation
  • Include gender equality in the organisations mission statement
  • Implement flexible working arrangements and sponsorship opportunities for women

The results from the study are worrying. Organisations should be making it a priority to ensure gender equality in leadership, creating a working environment that allows their employees to achieve their full potential. In addition to the initiatives highlighted in the study, it is important for organisations to use targets and quotas to help achieve gender equality by giving organisations action-oriented targets.