The latest findings by Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) show not much has changed with gender pay gap and leadership figures. They show women are earning 24% less than men in total remuneration for full time work. That represents $27,252 per year. It’s 35% if you work in financial or insurance services.
In terms of leadership, the data continues to paint a bleak picture – only 15.4% of CEOs are women.
The challenges of gender diversity within organisations can be broad and complex. The discussions are around quotas; culture; persistent bias; women’s lack of confidence in pay negotiations; reluctance to ask for promotions; lack of flexibility at the top (just 6.3% of management roles are part-time) and leaders who aren’t supporting women into the top jobs.
Yet there is a strong business case for gender diversity at senior levels and in positive news, there has been an increase in employers who have put strategies in place.
What part does mentoring play in your gender diversity strategy?
Our experience and the research shows mentoring can be an important part of a successful gender diversity strategy.
WEGA has cited mentoring and sponsorship programs within its ‘Strategy Toolkit’ that provides advice to businesses wanting to achieve gender equality. Mentoring is seen as an important initiative in both building capability and developing a strong talent ‘pipeline to leadership’ that is gender diverse.
In addition, McKinsey (2010) found that organisations with the largest percentage of C-level women encourage or mandate senior executives to mentor women in lower-level jobs.
For the individual, we know that common outcomes of mentoring – such as increased confidence, performance, leadership skills, more strategic career plans as well as ability to take risks in their career – can all impact on career progression.
Recent outcomes from McCarthy Mentoring programs designed to support gender diversity strategies:
- 63% of emerging female leaders selected to participate at a large ASX listed company were promoted during the program or within a year of participating
- 67% of female participants at a global professional services firm were promoted to Partner since starting the program
Mentoring can be a powerful initiative to strengthen your gender diversity strategy.