Why Golden Skirts Do Not Help Gender Equality

Posted on September 9th, 2015 by

I am in favour of having quotas for women on boards but I do recognise the inherent problems. Namely, companies are scrabbling to find women to sit on boards and may promote women to them who have insufficient knowledge or experience. This, of course, leads to accusations that women just aren’t good enough and fuels the flames of those resistant to gender equality.

There is also the so-called “golden skirt” problem of a limited number of women sitting on multiple boards. According to the The Telegraph, one Norwegian woman, lawyer Mimi Berdal, 55, at one point sat on  90 different boards. That is clearly tokenism. I’ve just returned from Norway, which does admittedly have a population smaller than London but even so…that’s crazy.

However, businesses here in the UK are being strongly encouraged to increase their female representation by the Government. No one expects companies to find suitable women at the drop of a hat; the process must start much lower down in the company with gender equality being established and honoured at all levels in the business.

I met with a fabulous business recently, where this was most definitely the case. The CEO’s desire had been to create a company where work life balance was good for everyone. It wasn’t something they did just to ‘help women’. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t have a women’s group either because they didn’t need one. They have had no problem in finding women for their boards and have some excellent examples of gender equal practices. I was meeting with the HR Director and, on hearing of their many successful initiatives, began to think they might not be interested in our Changing People programmes, (designed to help businesses boost their numbers of women in management).

I was wrong; they were extremely interested. For, as he said:

“We don’t want to rest on our laurels. We’re always looking for good initiatives and training for our staff. We don’t want to get complacent.”

Advert alert!: If you’re looking for an initiative to get women interested from the ground up, or to add to your existing offerings, then do check out RenewYou. RenewYou will help develop female talent for your management pipeline, and those seats on the board. RenewYou is also offered to individual women at courses around the UK and further afield. This link will tell you more.

Women, Self Esteem, and How to Get It

Posted on September 3rd, 2015 by

Self esteem,, or rather lack of, is always cited as a big issue for women. Read what Christine Webber, psychotherapist, has to say on the topic.

Inspirational Woman – Catherine Mayer

Posted on September 1st, 2015 by

Catherine Mayer, along with Sandi Toksvig, founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015. Read her in interview with Jane C Woods and find out what prompted her to do it. She is an award winning journalist and author.

Women Only Carriages?

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by

One of the contenders for the Labour leadership in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, has made a suggestion that ‘women only carriages’ on trains could be a good idea. It would allow them to travel unmolested.

No One Likes Forceful Colleagues – especially if they are female

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by

New York Times best-selling authors, Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield revealed that gender bias in the workplace is real, finding that women’s perceived competency drops by 35% and their perceived worth falls by $15,088 when they are judged as being “forceful” or “assertive.”

Supporting Women in the Workplace

Posted on August 25th, 2015 by

Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings.

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