One of the biggest changes to have taken place in business within the last decade has been the increased number of women in senior positions at major UK companies. In what used to be a man’s world, now more than 22% of executives are women.
The US workforce is well ahead of us, with 84% of the Fortune 500 companies having women on their boards. Compare this to the FTSE-100 companies in which 45% still have exclusively male boards, and you’ll see there is still work to be done.
However, there are strong debates as to whether the slow progress we’ve made should continue to grow organically, or whether intervention should ensure a boost in female presence in the workplace.
Here at Gradwell we have significantly more male staff than female, although in the past year or so the number of women has increased greatly with our rapid growth, including a female member of the senior management team. We employ our staff purely on their merits and ability to do the job well, without taking their gender into account. However, as is very common in technology companies, there are many more men involved in the industry than women, and our gender ratios in the office reflect that.
Having a more balanced workplace is greatly beneficial to a company, with women often bringing a very different set of skills to men. A male dominated workplace can be highly competitive and confrontational, with women tending to bringing stronger communication and organisational skills to the table. These traits are, of course, different from person to person, but a more diverse office leads to a healthier, happier atmosphere with more productive staff.
With women in charge of hugely successful firms such as Burberry, Specsavers and Imperial Tobacco, the future looks bright for a well-balanced, diverse business future in the UK.