U.K. Banks Pushing Women to the Top

Barclays

February 27, 2014

By Dr. Tyra OldhamLANDsds Sustainable Voice News

In the role of sustainability the development and leadership of women is important.  Women despite huge leaps and bounds still remain in an inequitable position of their male counterparts.  The drive for women to excel in the corporate web is far more dynamic than establishing quotas.  The thrust for “Two U.K. banks go public about getting more women at the top” is numbers and roadmap complexity akin to mogul skiing.

Image from Epic Ski.

Image from Epic Ski.”When U.K. bank

“When U.K. bank Barclays announced its 2013 annual results much of the news focused on the bank’s plan to cut up to 12,000 jobs this year and the decision to boost its bonus pool to $3.9 billion despite sharply lower profitsBut amid those punishing headlines, the bank also announced something unusual: the ratio of women it aims to have among its senior leadership ranks by the year 2018. That’s why Lloyds’ director of diversity, Fiona Cannon, says the bank decided to go public with its goals. “It allows other people independently to measure our progress, but also provides a really strong focus internally,”she says. “This moves us into business as usual, so we have the same rigor and discipline as we would with any other business issue.”

 

In four years, Barclays says 26 percent of its roughly 2,000 senior leaders should be women, up from the current 21 percent. The announcement came two weeks after Lloyds Banking Group, another U.K. bank which has been embroiled in a scandal over sales practices, announced that it intends to increase its number of women in senior management roles from 27 percent currently to 40 percent by 2020.

Changing the workplace requires organizational change and strategy. The ability to rest on numbers to set goals can fall short when the leadership and organization are not equipped for the task.

The moves by Barclays and Lloyds come amid a global debate over whether or not countries should set quotas for the number of women in the boardroom. (Women currently make up about 20 percent for the top 100 public companies in the U.K., while 16.9 percent of board seats at the largest 500 U.S. firms belong to women.) Several countries, including Norway and France, have passed laws requiring a certain percentage of female directors. In the United Kingdom, a 2011 report commissioned by the U.K. government recommended — but didn’t mandate — that the 350 largest public companies have a quarter of board seats allocated to women by 2015.

In the executive ranks, there’s little talk of quotas, but some believe a more public spotlight on how many women are actually in senior management could shame companies into raising the bar. (Currently, women hold 15.3 percent of executive roles in the U.K.; in the United States, it’s 14.6 percent.)

The same 2011 report recommended that CEOs in the top 350 companies in Britain also set gender targets for their executives, though few companies followed through, says Helena Morrissey, founder of the 30% Club, a U.K.-based organization promoting boardroom diversity. “Something like 2 out of the 350 actually came out with a numeric target in the timeframe suggested.”

The practice of promoting women is not a sideline practice. Consider, increasing the wins of your team. Would you bench your best players or sideline your rising stars. To do so would be career suicide for the coach and disastrous for the team.  Women are vital members of the workforce. The ability to under focus on building equity in unsustainable.

The challenge in intelligence era is to expand a company’s people power from within a global workforce is proficient, power, productivity and profitable.  The role of women is not about the defining and filling the gender gap but the development of powerful resources that build a better team.  Women offer diversity that changes the makeup and brain power of the organization for the better.

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Posted in Business, Corporate, Economics, Equity, Europe, Financial News, Inclusion, Leadership, Social Change, Sustainability, Sustainability Nexuses, Sustainable Voice, Voice News, Women, World News

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