New research by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has found that company culture is central to boosting gender diversity. The research revealed that promoting existing female talent is better for diversity than recruiting women.
BCG, which interviewed chief executives, HR officers and 1,350 employees from 15 FTSE 100 companies, found that while senior managers favoured a focus on recruiting more women, interventions designed to support retaining and promoting women already in the pipeline had the greatest impact.
Female employees also said that retention and advancement in their roles were the most important obstacles to tackle.
Almost all (97%) of employees surveyed believed their organisations were committed to gender diversity. However, just over a quarter of women felt they had benefited personally from their firm’s initiatives.
In response to BCG’s findings Kate Headley, Director of HR and diversity consultancy, the Clear Company, said: “These findings support what the Clear Company has long understood to be the crux of the issue of gender inequality – company culture is pivotal in increasing female representation across an organisation in the long-term.
“There is no use focusing on initiatives to get women through the doors if the culture is not conducive to the subsequent retention and promotion of this talent. In fact, the attrition of high-potential females drafted in to improve representation can actually be more damaging to gender diversity levels long-term.
“While companies often splash large amounts of money in a ‘scattergun approach’ to addressing this challenge, firms should focus on ensuring that recruitment processes are truly inclusive and that existing employees are thoroughly engaged, if they are to organically strengthen female talent pipelines in a sustainable way.”