Women need to review industry salary standards to gain better pay rises

Date: 09 Mar 2016

Bumblebee Design

Dr Almuth McDowall, senior lecturer at Birkbeck University, says there is much untapped talent in the corporate world and we need to sponsor women to encourage them to step forward.

How do we transform leadership successfully?

We need to ask ourselves how we select, develop and assess our senior leaders. Our research with over fifty senior business leaders has shown that people in organisations have an appetite for change, and want more strategic, more emotionally intelligent leaders who take a balanced approach to involving their top teams and consider the wider community as opposed to just the shareholders. To achieve this, we need a more shared and distributed approach to leadership, and coaching and mentoring programmes to develop the next generation of leaders. I see no evidence why we should have a ‘fight for talent’. There is much untapped talent in all of the organisations I work with, including bright, effective and transformational women; we need sponsors to encourage them to step forward.


What are the barriers for diversity and how do we shift them?

Behavioural research helps us to explain why giving people more money and bigger bonus packages might not be the right strategy to get the best leaders, so organisations need to consider change proactively. We identified as one of the barriers to change the constitution of executive boards, which remain predominantly white and male. Only sixty-one out of the FTSE100 organisations have individuals from ethnic minorities on their boards, women tend to be non-executive, rather than executive directors. There is currently no evidence why this is the case, or why retiring female non-executive directors are likely to be replaced with men, but my hunch is that women need more sponsorship to push themselves forward.