According to Anita Rai, an employment law partner with Taylor Vinter, there should be no glass ceiling for talent, whether male or female, and there are practical steps businesses can take to promote such diversity. Here they are:
- grow and maintain an executive pipeline of female talent for core board posts by having aspirational and measurable targets for women at all levels, removing any barriers to their promotion and making real efforts to bridge any gender pay gap
- review equality and diversity policies and ensure awareness is raised on all levels (although the Davies report has focused on board diversity, gender equality should filter throughout the workforce)
- review family-friendly policies to ensure it is as easy as possible for women to remain in the workforce (hopefully the introduction of shared parental leave will encourage more men to share the responsibility of raising children, thereby enabling women to remain in the labour market and naturally progress up the career ladder)
- provide mentors for women before and after taking time off for childcare, accommodate flexible working arrangements where possible, and allow more remote working
- raise the external profile of the company as an employer that embraces diversity at all levels, including board level, increasing the likelihood of women gravitating towards the organisation
- review recruitment practices to ensure any discriminatory criteria are removed and consider guaranteed interviews for under-represented groups.