Women and Leadership – Equality in the workplace in 2020

July 23, 2020

Women and Leadership – Equality in the workplace in 2020

According to the Catalyst 2019 Women in Management survey*, women in senior roles are steadily increasing, but the statistics show just one in three managers in the EU is a woman; and women in senior executive roles represent just 17% across the EU, despite accounting for 50% of the European workforce.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equality policies have become a hot topic in the boardroom and equality within organisational workforce strategy has continued to grow momentum, with the highest ever number of senior management roles held by women recorded in 2019, at 29% *

Today many large organisations are now compliant in gender pay transparency, and supplying data on gender diversity from board level, through executive and management positions. However, much more still needs to be done from recruitment to developing and mentoring females in the workforce to encourage greater take up of senior roles, and career work life balance support. There has been a much greater lean towards flexible and agile working, enabling employees to enjoy less stress when balancing family and work commitments, and enabling more leisure time to be enjoyed.

Smart organisations will analyse the business analytics, observing emerging trends from investing in their female talent, from retention rates, boosts in morale, and productivity improvements from helping females reach their full potential, whilst closing the gender pay gap.

Some organisations in STEM sectors (science, technology, engineering, and maths) have had to work even harder to attract more interest from school leavers, competing for the low take up of female school pupils traditionally associated going into these sectors. Organisations have in the last decade woken up to the benefit of having a more diverse workforce, and balance that females bring to the workplace, and have been proactive in joining forces with competitors and within the supply chain, and stakeholders, supported by business leaders, government and sector support groups in refreshing branding campaigns, and  communicating through female Stem Ambassadors, the breadth of roles and skills needed to inspire the next talent generation.

New entry routes have been created, to widen the recruitment net, from traditional university entry to attracting apprentices, who can be mentored and supported from a vocational path or A level, and together with role model ambassadors and mentoring can enjoy a learning environment, to support both academic and practical training.

Many organisations have had to review their leadership and culture, some have gone further to redesign their work environment and invest into new practises, optimising space design to support peer to peer networking, greater collaboration across organisations through innovative organisational development, and touch down spaces.

Workspaces by JPA believe building collaborative environments and forming partnerships across communities can really benefit individuals, raising aspirations, and creating a culture that helps one another thrive personally and professionally.

Fiona Edwards
Fiona Edwards, Sustainability Director at JPA

Workspaces by JPA are staunch supporters of investing in young people, through apprenticeships and supporting young girls in STEM. They have supported established female networks, and young women in education, collaborating, sharing views, and successes and helping to inspire in a learning environment, through their community networks. 

Commercial Director, Fiona Edwards, ‘Women are fantastic networkers, and are great at signposting within the community, transferring knowledge and encouraging achievement. We are passionate about helping businesses thrive and sharing knowledge in our specialist area around space design, environment, carbon reduction and supporting health and wellbeing at work’’. JPA were delighted to headline sponsor of the first Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce ‘Women in Leadership’ Conference earlier this year at Sopwell House, St Albans – a perfect synergy.

Fiona was one of the opening speakers, and joined by fellow business leaders and former England Captain Kelly Smith MBE; first female Chair of British Chamber of Commerce, Sarah Howard MBE; and Necton Consulting Janet Hayes, who will share her Ph.D. ‘Can Women have it all’?

*Catalyst 2019 Women in Management Quick Take survey.

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