Getting more women to the top

Steph Hopper - Head of Talent Solutions

The number of women holding the most senior jobs in the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest companies has fallen, according to a report criticising the lack of progress made by businesses in getting more women to the top.

Cranfield University’s 20th FTSE Women on Boards Report shows a sharp drop in the number of women occupying C-Suite roles on FTSE 250 boards, and static numbers at FTSE 100 companies.
The FTSE 250 is seen as the pipeline for leadership jobs at larger FTSE 100 companies, so the report describes this as a ‘woeful situation’.

One of Capp’s clients is determined to develop the very best female emerging talent and encourage leadership. For the last seven years, this large technology multi-national has worked with us to run an Emerging Women in Leadership programme. Using Capp’s Strengths-based methodology this helps women harness their strengths, build confidence and gain vision through a combination of coaching and programme-led activity.

To date, around 600 women have taken part in the programme, which starts with a one-to-one strengths debrief with a Strengths Profile coach, followed by a seven week programme of assignments and peer coaching.

Feedback is very positive, and this translates into tangible career progression. 82% of participants report career progression within a year, and 75% of these attribute this to the leadership programme. Interestingly, there is a 92% retention rate after 12 months among participants – 6% higher than among peers.

Participant feedback includes: Understanding other women leaders in the organization have the same issues as I do made me realize I am not less qualified for a leader role, my improved confidence has helped me to be more assertive and making more decisions.”

It is really heartening to see the lasting impact this programme can make in supporting emerging female leaders reach their potential. And hopefully an example which other companies can follow.