Monday, November 13, 2006

workplaces need to change.....

now that's a surprise! (not)

According to a Guardian article today Jill Treanor says "Senior executives from 150 leading companies will be asked to help draw up a new set of industry standards to promote more women and to create working environments which break away from the traditional male-dominated, aggressive workplaces"

The number of women in the boardrooms of Britain's biggest companies has fallen sharply. While 50% of the graduate recruits are female, the proportion reaching senior levels falls to 30% and to just 15% in executive roles. There are only 12 female executive directors at FTSE-100 companies last year - down from 20 last year. The 12 women work for 10 companies. Only three FTSE 100 firms have women chief executives. 90 women serve as non-executives, but more than a quarter of FTSE 100 firms have no female director.

Yup - there's a lot of work to do!

Professor Lynda Gratton, leading the research says "It ís not simply that companies [are choosing] not to promote women but that women decide to leave". One of the first things the centre will do is to bring together all relevant research on its website, Then it has plans for studies into topics such as what draws women to entrepreneurialism and the reason women seem to be good at innovation.

In an interview in the Guardian last week Gratton said "We need to show organisations, through research, what benefits women can bring, what they can do.....

Research published this Wednesday also found that women were both task- and relationship-oriented, meaning, in lay terms, that they get things done as well as get on with people. Gratton describes this as a "huge finding". I think it's totally patronising - women have to be doers and networkers to survive with a family to support, it's not news!

This week's research suggests that more than 30% of any workforce needs to be female to change an organisation. Women are surrounded by fewer and fewer women as they move up the greasy pole. Gratton also points out "Being a minority is an unpleasant place to be. The surprise I sometimes think is not that there are so few senior women but - given how hard it is and how extraordinarily good they have to be - how many." This point that echoes the earlier posts I have written about how women, despite having to spend hours on "beauty-work" can still achieve as much, if not more than our male counterparts, if we choose to.......

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