Nearly all CEOs will, at some point in the near future, highlight the need for their company to be more diverse.

However, research has found that though the intention is there, very few organisations have a robust strategy in place that will actually allow them to achieve this goal.

What the research says

The study, titled ‘Advancing Women as Leaders in the Private Sector’, found that a not even half of businesses (40%) has a plan in place that would assist them in helping women to either rise to senior roles, or be hired externally for a position that has traditionally been held by a man.

And the research has also made very clear that part of the problem CEOs face when it comes to hiring women for top jobs is the fact that more companies do not have accurate data regarding what contributes to professional success for women. For example, in any number of companies, information around recruiting women, retention their services post-maternity leave, as well as attrition rate, was lacking. Similarly, only one in three organisations was discovered to have accurate data around average wage for each gender.

The gender pay gap

Of course, the gender pay gap is not a new problem. However, despite companies making noises in recent years around tackling the issue, it is something that continues to persist, though the gap is closing, slowly but surely.

In the year ending April 2018, the gap was 8.6%, which was down from 9.1% in 2017. Despite this change, campaigners have – rightly so – claimed that this rate of change is far too slow, suggesting that companies need to do more to reduce the gap even further.

And it’s quite clear that the male/female divide in top positions is still a hot potato. Earlier this week, WACL revealed new research which shone yet another spotlight on the lack of gender equality in leadership roles, this time with a focus on the marketing sector. According to the study, only 36% of women hold a leadership position in marketing, which can be read as a 14% ‘leadership gap’.

What is the answer?

The first step is admitting there is an issue, which nearly all CEOs now do. Then, the recruitment process needs to be assessed. Are you appealing to the right people, and are you giving both men and women the same opportunity to apply for executive level roles?

What we can do for you

To ensure your retail executive search is carried out as efficiently and effectively as possible, get in touch with us today. We are experts at finding the right people for your business – be they female or male – while also dealing with the recruitment process in a methodical manner.

We’re here to help.