These are among the findings in a report from ManpowerGroup, Seven Steps to Conscious Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Accelerating More Women into Leadership. It takes a deep-dive into generational, gender and geographical divides on attitudes to achieving gender parity. It draws on insights from more than 200 global leaders and identifies structural obstacles that need to be overcome.
The most significant obstacle identified is an entrenched male culture, a barrier that even men acknowledged must change. Three-fifths (59 percent) of leaders interviewed said they believe the single most powerful thing an organization can do to promote more women leaders is to create a gender-neutral culture, led by the CEO. Two-fifths (42 percent) agreed that flexible working is key to getting more women into leadership. This requires a wholesale rethinking of the workplace, particularly a shift in focus from “presenteeism” to performance.
"It's proven that the problem will not correct itself – we are stuck in a circular conversation," said Mara Swan, ManpowerGroup's executive vice president, Global Strategy and Talent and co-chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity. "Increasing representation by putting more women in support roles like communications and HR is just not good enough anymore. That is not shifting the needle. Getting more women into P&L roles will significantly help accelerate the talent and leadership pipeline. That's why we commissioned this report – to help turn words into action."
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