Female FTSE 100 Report
Following The Female FTSE Board Report 2019 published earlier this month, women make up 32% of FTSE 100 directors, up 3% from last year. However, with the average tenure of female directors at 3.3 years, and that of men at 6.6 years, the figures raise concerns that female directors are not being fully supported in their career development, and potentially hired as a purely symbolic gesture.
When women are hired in senior roles in order to ‘tick a box’, receiving no genuine investment in their professional development as leaders, organisations continue to perpetuate the notion that successful leadership pertains to masculine qualities. If companies do not approach diversity in senior leadership with authenticity and with a desire to create positive cultural change, the benefits of diverse leadership will not be realised.
This is also reflected in research conducted by The Myers-Briggs Company that shows 70% of women in leadership roles tend to use the ‘Thinking’ preference to make decisions in the workplace – a preference that is usually more common in men. Further down the occupational levels, women tend to exhibit a more even split between ‘Thinking’ and ‘Feeling’ preferences. This reinforces the notion that women must exhibit behaviours that are more typically associated with men to be considered for top jobs, as leadership has long been recognised as culturally masculine. For men, the research indicates that around 80% have a Thinking preference at all occupational levels.
In light of these findings, Lorraine Mills, Director of European Professional Services at The Myers-Briggs Company, one of the world’s largest business psychology providers commented that:
“To achieve true equality, our institutions and companies must take an active role and invest in developing their people to build self-awareness and learn how to appreciate the value of diversity of background, perspective and experience to create a positive and successful environment for all. This will not only open the door for more women to succeed but enable everyone to be more successful inside and outside of work. At The Myers-Briggs Company, we advocate for the importance of improving self-awareness amongst all employees because we know that this can help counter unconscious bias that might exclude anyone from entering the race.”