Developing women into the leaders of tomorrow

Employer advice

A gender balanced workforce is a target for most companies operating in a modern market. If you want to ensure you're successfully recruiting, retaining and developing the women within your organisation into great leaders, here are our key steps to take:

Assess your organisation

Take the time to review your current management structure and ask some important questions. Are there currently women in senior positions and if so, are there enough? If not, why is this? Review the current barriers preventing women from progressing in your organisation and what you can do to break these down.

Offer flexible working arrangements

And make sure you mean it. With 43.6% of mothers with dependent children working full time, offering and actively promoting flexible working as a key benefit means you're able to ensure you're not preventing the most successful candidates from even applying for your roles or staying with your organisation when they want to start a family. And it's not just women who seek out flexible working - a report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills projects that the number of part-time male workers is set to increase by 20% by 2024. So getting serious about it now can bring benefits to all.

Open up opportunities

Many women taking career breaks to raise children or care for their family (1 in 5 women aged 45-59 is a carer) face challenges when returning to work. Goldman Sachs is just one company taking advantage of this market with their Returnship programme, recruiting and developing those who left the workforce two or more years ago.

Promote from within

Review your existing workforce from entry level and above, looking out for promising talent and developing training and development plans with clear objectives for every stage of their career. By carefully managing and investing in your top female talent you'll prove your commitment to their career development, not only improving retention but supporting in the attraction of top talent.

Use women to recruit women

As recommended by the Institute of Directors, women already in leadership positions should support and mentor those looking to progress. Enable mentorship programmes and utilise events, thought leadership and communications to actively promote the successes of women in your business to both your existing staff and prospective candidates.

A recent survey by PWC identified the following traits that female millennials look for in employers. This is a great place to start if you're looking to recruit female millennials:

 1. Opportunities for career progression
 2. Competitive wages and financial incentives
 3. Flexible working arrangements available
 4. Good benefits package
 5. Excellent training and development programmes