What is the real cost of losing your key talent?
What are leading organizations doing to keep ahead of the great resignation
How have the last few years helped or hindered progression for female talent?
These are the issues we discussed on 12th July 2022
‘Every leader in the country needs to be asking “why are my great women leaving?” – it’s very often about belonging.
Focus on initiatives that build belonging and trust and confidence.
Identify the few initiatives which will make the biggest difference in your organisation, and do them well.
Ensure females are included on promotion / interview panels, both to ensure the diversity of thought and demonstrate visible role models.
Use data as much as possible to reduce bias in the recruitment and promotion processes, but also in performance reviews. Set interview structures.
Introduce Mentoring, and invest in mentoring that will work for organisation and individual requirements.
Ensure Leaders have the skills to promote the environment that delivers the above such as listening, developing teams, focussing on well-being.
We need to examine our workplace culture and what type of culture we want to foster, rather than just looking at things from the lens of whether we want to get people back into the office.
Hybrid working has been good for many women, but be aware that when employees can choose whether to go into the office, women are more often the ones that choose to stay at home, this results in the risk of ‘an in-crowd and an out-crowd’. Consider the risk of implicit bias.
Parental Leave and other key transition points
Targeted support for individuals and line managers are needed at critical transition points when women are most likely to leave - such as parental breaks, parenting teenagers, menopause, and caring for sick / elderly relatives.
Encouraging men to take parental leave will have a huge impact on the number of women in leadership. Visible role models, and celebrating when men and women are taking parental leave will help. Leaders making their life as a parent visible provides good role-modelling. Quick wins are: talking about your children, writing ‘school run’ into your calendar, etc.
Asking what women want, rather than assuming that women want an easy workload when they return from maternity leave.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn is an experienced business leader who from 2015 to 2020 was Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s largest business organisation speaking for 190k firms. She represented business on issues ranging from Brexit and climate action to workplace inclusion and purpose-led business, making frequent public and media appearances, and with a particular passion for the positive role business can play in addressing inequalities in our society.
An economist by training, Carolyn spent her early career with the World Bank then as a journalist at The Economist, where she was one of the founding writers for the paper’s Finance section. In 1988 she joined McKinsey, where she became a partner and leader of its UK media practice.
From 1995-1997, Carolyn was a member of Prime Minister John Major’s Number 10 Policy unit in Downing Street, leading on health policy.
As BBC Director of Strategy from 2000-2004, she led the BBC’s digital strategy and in 2003 launched Freeview, one of the UK’s most successful TV services. From 2007-2010, Carolyn was Strategy Director at ITV, where she helped lead the broadcaster through the 2008 advertising crash and develop its diversification strategy into content production.
Since 2011, Carolyn has served as a non-executive director for a wide range of leading British companies, including Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Capita plc and BAE Systems. She was a Director of the Competition and Markets Authority and, from 2008-11, the Financial Services Authority, where she helped design the post-crash structure for city regulation.
Until 2016, Carolyn was a Trustee of Marie Curie, a leading end-of-life care charity. She is currently a member of the global board of HSBC and in July 2022 will take over as Chair of Trustees at Royal Mencap Society, whose mission to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities she strongly shares.
In 2019, Carolyn was awarded the honour of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to UK Business.
Carolyn holds a double first class BA in Economics from Cambridge University, an MA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD. She is a honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Visiting Fellow at Oxford University.
Carolyn is married with three children and lives in Hampshire.
John is an Executive Coach and HR Consultant who helps leaders gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, deal with organisational politics and develop their all-round leadership and performance and that of the team and the business. John has over 30 years’ experience in large business in the Telecoms, Technology, Space and Defence Sectors. He has held enterprise level leadership positions and worked with leaders at Executive Committee and Board level. He has designed and implemented leadership development, coaching programmes and performance management systems. He has led policy on increasing Diversity and Inclusion, with a particular focus on gender balance. He was a member of the Women’s Business Council and awarded an MBE for his work in the STEM sector, attracting women into this traditionally male dominated environment. He has been a Board member and Pension Trustee Director and has strong operational business understanding. He is known for connecting very quickly to the business environment, the individual issues and their implications for business performance and supporting individuals to optimise their contribution. John has coached senior leaders in Company as part of his senior HR roles and now coaches independently. Coaching assignments have included CEOs and top teams engaged in new strategy development, divisional leaders transitioning into new/promoted positions, FTSE Directors implementing change and senior functional directors seeking career coaching. John has a pragmatic and operationally grounded approach, he connects and builds trust quickly and combines a client centred coaching philosophy with mentoring based on his experience of what works and doesn’t in leadership and business.
HR Director roles with FTSE 30 Company Leadership and Talent Development Director with FTSE 30 Company Group. HRD of Franco-British Joint Venture based in Paris. Recent Board member of an engineering skills organisation. Recent Member of the Women’s Business Council. Recent member of the CBI Employment and Skills Group. Previously Pension Trustee Director for a large fund.
BA (Hons) in Business, Diploma in Professional Coach Mentoring, Associate Member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Awarded MBE for services to Industry and Equality (2019)
April is currently Global Head of Talent at PA Consulting working to create an environment where PA people can grow and develop, building their careers and applying their ingenuity to PA clients’ toughest challenges in pursuit of creating a positive human future.
She has over 20 years experience within professional service firms experiencing significant growth and change and where creating the climate for all talent to grow and thrive has contributed to achievement of, often ambitious, growth targets.
April has designed and implemented learning and development programmes for early careers up to senior executives, designed performance management approaches, and developed career frameworks to support growth and progression. Supporting professional women to develop successful careers that lead to Partnership has been a consistent theme both through coaching and development programmes, and a focus on the organisational environment that enables success.
Professional credentials include MA Human Resources Management, Member of the Chartered Institute Personnel and Development
Jane is an Executive Coach and facilitator who helps high potential employees achieve a successful return from a parental break. With her focus on the psychology of dealing with change, aligning personal values and beliefs with those of work, she works with new parents and managers to enable the best outcomes for employees and organisations. Jane has over 20 years’ experience of working with new parents - in groups and 1-to-1 - helping them navigate their way through times of transition. Through her work with a major charity she has experience of strategic development, service development, and learning and development.
Graduating with a distinction in an MsC in Coaching and Behavioural Change from Henley Business School, Jane is now lead coach assessor for the Henley Coaching Centre. As a researcher she has conducted studies on: factors that can help and hinder parents returning to work after a parental break; the impact of coaching on new parent employees and the experience of women returning to the workplace after a career break. She is a regular contributor to ‘Workplace’, a journal published by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy’s, in which she writes a series titled ‘Better conversations at work’. She is a member of the International Coaching Federation and the Association of Coaching.
Jane cares about this topic because becoming a parent is a major life transition that involves a deep psychological shift. She has observed women benefit from being supported during this time of change so that they can be their best at work, combining old and new skills and insights and bringing a greater richness to the workplace.
A leadership Development Consultant and Executive Coach with over 15 years experience working with FTSE 50 organisations. An ICF member, a Brain Based Coach with the Neuro-Leadership Institute, and a Senior Action Learning Coach with the World Institute of Action Learning. Liz works with Executives and Teams, helping them to be the best they can be.
Jenny has enjoyed a successful career as a Senior Leader in Human Resources, working in a variety of complex, global, high technology FTSE 50 organisations. Now an independent consultant and qualified coach, she works with a range of corporate clients and individual business leaders. Key projects include working with Be the Business, leading a national programme to help 100’s of SME leaders to improve their productivity through a focus on employee engagement and better workplace practices. 75% of the businesses participating in this programme have shown superior growth compared to peers. Evidence from this project resulted in a £250m government investment in a national leadership development programme for small business leaders called Help to Grow. Prior to starting her consultancy business Wise-Words in 2018, Jenny was Head of HR at BAE SYSTEMS where she worked for three decades. Her last major project was to lead a national change and improvement programme that saved more than £30m across the UK organisation. Jenny has also worked with global teams across Europe, the USA, India, the Middle East, and Australia recruiting senior leaders and individuals with scarce skills. Her focus was to develop best practice development and mentoring programmes designed to retain and grow key talent and improve business, team, and individual performance. Jenny is passionate about developing others and has designed and delivered several organisation wide, strategic leadership development programmes. These focused on change, transformation, and business improvement. All the programmes had a clear ROI to ensure lasting and auditable business impact. In addition, she devotes some of her time to coaching and mentoring clients individually and through the national Help to Grow Management programme sponsored by BEIS. She is an Honorary Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University Management School.