Gender Diversity: Despite progress, representivity struggle continues


“So companies that are serious about gender transformation yet find themselves continuously flailing and struggling to make the changes they desire, have to ensure that they start actively sourcing and appointing women to critical profit-and-loss, core business roles, as well as board positions.”

Naidoo notes the standard concern voiced by companies, including in the USA, is that there is an insufficient number of women at executive levels for consideration to the top role. Global data supports this contention, showing an average 70:30 male-to-female ratio at senior executive levels.

“If you then take a closer look at the roles that the women are occupying, you find that there are far fewer who are running a full-scale business division, or have accountability for P&L or Operations or Finance. Women are mostly to be found in supporting roles such as HR, Marketing, Legal, and Compliance.

“There are only a few roles that are likely internal succession potential from executive level to CEO. And if you don’t have women in these positions, then the likelihood of women even making it to the shortlist of internal succession candidates for the CEO position is minimal.”

Naidoo says the era of making gender-transformed appointments for the sake of doing so should be a thing of the past.

“There is ample evidence to support the business case for gender transformation, and there is great talent out there. Increasing diversity in leadership is not rocket science, it is simply a matter of vision and strategy, and getting your ducks in a row well before you are required to act.”

* The data is informed by placement statistics compiled annually by Jack Hammer.