Macleod, M. & Coffey, T.
London: British Government
Area of focus: 

This report summarises a British Government Inquiry into increasing women's representation in the senior management of UK business. The proportion of women on the boards of FTSE100 companies has risen from 10.5 percent in 2010 to 17.3 percent in 2013. However, these are primarily non-executive director appointments. The report identifies a failure of the leadership pipeline to increase the number of women in management, and makes recommendations to business, executive search firms, investors, female executives and to the British Government on how the situation could be improved. Each section contains lengthy discussion of relevant issues, actions, and some sections provide case studies of how the actions have been implemented in major companies.

The paper provides a good introduction to concepts of unconscious bias, career breaks and return to work, the need to normalise flexible working arrangements, and mentoring and sponsorship. Collecting and reporting diversity information at all levels of
an organisation is argued to be the fundamental first step to effecting change.

Recommendations to government include extending gender diversity reporting requirements to include the three levels below the executive committee, and accelerating implementation of planned tax reforms to benefit working parents.