Joseph Lappin speaks to Lexis Nexis in an article reporting that PwC has put a ban on all-male job shortlists in an attempt to increase the number of women in senior roles. Whilst PwC is claiming it will be ‘a real game changer’, Joseph Lappin does not necessarily agree that it will solve the gender imbalance issue.

A welcome move

Joseph comments in the article that the initiative is a welcome move, saying:

“The gender pay gap reporting regime provided confirmation that senior executive teams are dominated by men. This gender imbalance produces a gender pay gap, because the best paid staff are male.

“The obvious way to reduce the gender pay gap, therefore, is to have a greater representation of women at senior levels. Ensuring women are included on job shortlists for senior roles is one way of tackling gender imbalance.”

More to be done?

The article continues:

‘Lappin notes that including women on job shortlists will not “solve the problem of gender imbalance in senior roles”, arguing that firms must instead “promote a range of policies to ensure women progress”.

‘Lappin highlights steps that firms can take, including:

  • providing unconscious bias training to senior managers, particularly those with responsibility for recruitment and promotion decisions
  • providing appropriate training for women who return to work after completing a period of maternity leave
  • undertaking regular reviews of gender data to identifying areas of the business where women are underrepresented and the reasons for this and taking steps to tackle the problem’

Government review required

The article continues:

‘Lappin adds that the government also has a role to play in eradicating gender imbalance in senior positions: “One area that requires review is the gender imbalance in parental leave afforded to fathers and mothers. Women spend more time out of the office than men which has an adverse impact on their career progression.

‘”Shared parental leave has not resulted in significant numbers of fathers taking time out of the office and there remains a perception that women, and not men, should have the main child bearing responsibility.

‘”Men should be afforded more generous statutory paternity leave which would, in my view, lead to a cultural shift in the workplace.”’

To read the full article, please visit the Lexis Nexis website (subscription required)



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