Organisations must take lead in drive for equality

Our recent coverage of the challenges facing women in the workplace – ‘Super women’ at risk of workplace burnout, ‘Hassled women behave badly’, and the ‘Women’s drivers’ roundtable discussion – prompted an impassioned response.

I agree that access to flexible working and promoting healthier behaviour would go some way to supporting women at work, but this issue is wider than just helping women balance work and caring responsibilities. Organisations must consider how they motivate, develop and ultimately retain talented women. We need to address the barriers to progression that also frustrate many women and give the impression that they need to work twice or three times as hard to achieve the same success as their male counterparts.

Research shows that many women believe that stereotyping and preconceptions of women’s aspirations for promotion, as well as exclusion from internal networks of communication and influence, are barriers to career progression. These factors, as well as a lack of flexible working opportunities, have a significant impact on the loss of talent from organisations.

KPMG is working to address the motivation, retention and development of women through our recently launched Retaining Talented Women programme. We will be able to identify over time the benefits of this programme and its impact on the retention of skilled women. Tackling these issues requires real commitment from the business and a focused programme, led from the top.

Nicola Greenway
Senior manager, people management

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