Our most recent work across sectors such as technology, engineering, manufacturing, processing and industrial gave us first-hand exposure to the gender imbalances across all levels of the organisations operating in these sectors.
Although all the organisations we work with strive for higher gender diversity across their workforce, our Talent Mapping & Pipelining activities uncovered that in some major European markets the representation of women at mid to senior level can be as low as 5% for certain roles within the technology sector and as low as 14% for certain engineering roles. Broader estimates show that approximately “19% of women make up the tech” workforce in Europe and “between 20% and 30% of manufacturing employees are female”.
Clearly, there still is a lot to be done to ensure gender diversity across the technology, manufacturing, and engineering sectors.
One way to help foster gender diversity across organisations is to ensure that girls and women are exposed to female role models. Various studies have shown the power of role models, indicating that they can harness motivation and fuel passion for certain fields.
Interestingly, another recent study showed however that “high-level female role models, whose success seems unattainable, negatively affects younger women’s self-perceptions and leadership aspirations; however, mid-level female role models do not.”
One size never fits all.
"high-level female role models, whose success seems unattainable, negatively affects younger women’s self-perceptions and leadership aspirations; however, mid-level female role models do not.”
The goal of having equal representation of men and women in leadership roles has never been straightforward to achieve and various factors and complexities, some of which we know of and others which we don’t even know of yet, influence it.
This is why we should continue to discuss, study, observe and document the outcomes of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. And then repeat. This is going to be an evolving process. This is also why we should create diverse strategies to close the gender gap in leadership roles, some of which should focus on helping women and girls to “relate to elite role models” and understand that their success is an achievable goal. And finally, this is why each one of us is a role model, in one way or another, as long as we have stories, learnings, successes and struggles to share.
The bottom line is, it is vital that no matter what level of the organisation we are at, we engage in conversations and are visible and accessible to other girls and women who may benefit from connecting with us.
At 6 Group, we decided to use our extensive networks of individuals at all levels, to share stories of inspirational and passionate leaders we have the opportunity to speak to on a daily basis. This forms our new initiate - a Women’s Network & Podcast called ‘Ways Women Lead’. As part of it, on a regular basis, we speak to women who, like us, are passionate about improving diversity and inclusion across organizations, to facilitate sharing of stories and best practices, and most importantly, to show how many fantastic female role models are out there. We have the opportunity to use our connections to provide motivation and support to others – both those currently in, and aspiring to leadership.
Let’s show all the ways women lead!
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