As the war for talent rages on, more than 70% of businesses are now working to create a more inclusive environment to attract and retain female talent according to Grant Thornton International’s Women in Business research, which surveys senior leaders from 5,000 businesses across 29 economies. In the early days of the pandemic, few could have predicted the lasting effect Covid-19 would have on established ways of working.
Now, with much of the world stabilising, and recognition from businesses that change was needed, the march toward more inclusive working practices to attract and retain a more diverse talent pool continues unabated. With nearly two thirds (57%) of mid-market leaders expecting a skill shortage to be a major constraint to their businesses in the year ahead, Grant Thornton’s research shows that in response, 95% of mid-market business leaders are now taking action to foster staff engagement and create an inclusive culture.
Kim Schmidt, global leader at Grant Thornton International says: “We are seeing increasingly inclusive business practices that are designed to entice prospective employees and preserve talent being rolled out. This is ultimately benefiting many women who, in the past, were confined by more traditional approaches to work.”
As these new ways of working become the norm for many organisations, 73% of respondents expect that the impact of COVID-19 will continue to benefit women’s career trajectories long-term – an increase of four percentage points on 2021.This could be an indication that a step change is on the horizon but in the meantime, the number of women in senior management positions continues its glacial progress, advancing just a single percentage point to 32% in 2022. “Everything gained can be easily lost when we’re talking about progress that is this gradual. As always, there is much more that some businesses could be doing to ensure that we not only maintain this growth but accelerate it. Positive market driven influences are all well and good, but without a consistent and structured approach to gender balance and diversity overall, we could see progress halted or even reversed,” Schmidt says.
In 2021, Grant Thornton’s research revealed that the proportion of women in senior management roles had passed the important 30% tipping threshold for the first time. All global regions have now passed the crucial 30% milestone, including APAC, which was the only region not to hit this figure in 2021. The proportion of businesses with at least one woman in senior management remains static at 90%.
Last December, Grant Thornton Malta received the Company Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Women in Business 2020 at the HSBC “Malta Businesswoman of the Year Awards.” The firm’s outstanding commitment towards empowering women in business, resulted in over 58% of its 120-strong team being made up of women. Grant Thornton Malta carries a firm commitment towards building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, where everyone is valued and respected.