Women in Industry

Article excerpt

GENDER equality is essential for forward-looking organisations Thirty years have passed since the Equal Pay Act, in which time there have been significant advances in women's position in the workplace. The gender gap in terms of economic activity and employment rates has narrowed considerably with the proportion of women economically active firmly on the increase, thus amounting to the gender gap in economic activity almost halving and now divided by a mere 9%. But when we turn our attentions to science, engineering and technology (SET) occupations the story is very different indeed. Of the 13 million working women, only 5.3% choose to work within SET occupations. However, there is more to this issue than just the numbers stacking up; gender equality within the workplace not only brings a wider range of talent, skills and perspectives but can also contribute to better organisational performance.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting the economic value of women as employees, business leaders, consumers and entrepreneurs, therefore improving gender equality makes good business sense.

Research has shown that organisational performance increases sharply once a threshold of at least three women in ten on the management committee is reached enabling dynamics to become more collaborative. However at present within SET FTSE 100 organisations, women only hold 9% of board directorships with exclusively male boards still existing within 35% of all SET companies. …