Women and the Executive Pipeline








Blog by Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director Opportunity Now

It’s great to see the publication of the Executive Women in the Pipeline report today, led for the Conservative Women’s Forum by Mary Macleod MP and Dr Thérèse Coffey MP. 

Their recommendations for business are very clearly in line with Opportunity Now’s recommendations for Changing Gear – unconscious bias training, flexible and part time working and inspiring the workforce of the future – all recommendations from this report –all key elements of our existing toolkit. 

Particularly interesting is the recommendation that the Voluntary Code of Conduct for head hunters is extended to cover senior executive level as well as boards.  It would seem common sense that principles which have been effective in increasing the number of board appointments could be applied at other levels.  Colin Grassie, one of our Change Agents, has been effective in driving through these principles at Deutsche Bank. 

The recommendations targeted at government are interesting.  There is no question that better careers advice would help, and it will be interesting to see how this aligns with the government’s agenda of freedom for schools, where Whitehall has opted to give away many of the levers it previously had for  shaping services such as careers advice in schools.  A development of childcare policy which sees a tailored offer for women as they return to work is an excellent idea. 

The last recommendation asks that Lord Davies’ work is extended to cover the professional services and public sector.  Much of the substance of Davies’ report is seen in other recommendations on reporting and the head hunter code.  What we may still be lacking is the scale and rigour of the Davies approach, where a comprehensive analysis of existing data was undertaken and partners pulled together to create momentum for change.  Non listed companies and the public sector were not covered by the original report; maybe it is time for Davies Mk II?