How can you leverage your female leaders in 2016?

 

Achieving gender equality in the workplace has been a pressing concern for Australian businesses in the last few years.

Recent data has revealed that while the overall business environment has improved for women, there are still issues establishing equality in leadership. How can companies help build and execute strategies to achieve this goal?

Women still under-represented in senior roles

Recent data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has found that only 27.4 per cent of key senior roles are held by female professionals. However, the proportion of women in management roles has increased from 35.9 per cent to 36.5 per cent.

The overall wage gap has decreased slightly compared to the previous year, yet at 24 per cent, it is still a cause for concern.

Although WGEA Director Libby Lyons stated that Australian businesses have come a long way in achieving equality, each sole company must be responsible in ensuring internal processes are contingent to creating opportunities for women.

“While the national data gives us a snapshot of what’s happening around Australia, it’s up to each organisation to take action to build inclusive, diverse and successful businesses,” she said.

Empowering women to reach the top roles

A recent release from City University London found that social capital is the key to climbing the corporate ladder. However, Researcher Natasha Abajian found that women often have less access to social circles that can help advance their career.

“These networks or ‘who you know and who knows you’ are responsible for a large percentage of career progression so limited access could be a barrier to women’s opportunities,” she explained.

An important part of strategic management is ensuring that every member of staff is able to reach their potential within the company. In order to do so, encouraging females with leadership potential into your networks is an important step in creating a more inclusive board.