The Cost to the Economy of Low Gender Diversity

Women make up 49% of the global workforce yet 33% of organisations have no females in senior management positions. Retaining and Advancing Women in Business: A model for success reveals that 36% of British businesses still have no women in senior management roles costing the UK economy an estimated £23 billion.

everywoman’s report recommends that businesses address this issue through greater emphasis on female role models, mentors and workplace sponsors along with tools and programmes to develop female talent.

everywoman co-founder Karen Gill MBE, “When women have access to role models and learning opportunities they develop faster and further along the talent pipeline.”  

The report finds that uncovering and elevating female role models is a powerful means to encourage career progression:

  • 74% state regular access to role models inspires them to develop their careers.
  • 81% of women who regularly use learning and development resources report this has enabled them to develop their careers
  • Based on the availability of the above, 75% expect to continue their career at their current organisation
  • 42% believe that the aforementioned combined is more likely to result in promotion
  • Inadequate training is the second biggest reason cited by 62% of job leavers

Virgin Media’s Sharon Murray, Head of Culture and Inclusion, says, “Our aim was to increase engagement levels among our female middle managers. Our investment in this group of 400 women in the past 12 months has started to show real results – the levels of engagement has increased from 61% to 67% – higher than their male counterparts. Giving them this opportunity to access role models and a variety of learning and development material is working.”

With growing acknowledgement that gender balanced teams produce stronger governance, effective decision-making and financial output, the report examines the significant financial impact of gender parity at board level in terms of return on equity (41%) and operating results (56%).  It also measures the hidden cost of female manager turnover – estimated at £780,000 for a business employing 300-400 managers.

Notes to editors  

Retaining and Advancing Women in Business: A model for Success is available for download  

everywoman spoke to 554 users of its everywomanNetwork.  The members surveyed represent a diverse cross-section of ranks/levels (from graduate through to director positions) and included a focus group of senior executives and HR and Diversity & Inclusion leaders.