Monday, 7 September 2009

Employers are unaware of the talents of women

Helen Alexander has been appointed as the new head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) employers' group, the first woman to occupy the position of president since the group was founded in 1965. In her first interview she has stated that "industry in the UK is missing out by failing to exploit the talents of women." The statistics certainly seem to support her: of the board directors in the FTSE 100 index of leading UK businesses, only 11% are women. Ms. Alexander doesn't believe that there is prejudice against women in the boardroom, but suspects that many employers are simply aware of the talent that women can offer. She also stated that there was plenty of female talent around but does not personally favour positive discrimination.

  • What's the current legislation on Equal Pay and Sex Discrimination in the workplace?
  • Are there particular skills that only women can bring to the workplace, and in particular to the boardroom?
  • Thinking of your answer to the last question, are there certain roles that are best undertaken by women?
  • What examples can you provide of women who have "made it to the top" in what is a business area predominantly populated by men?
  • What does Helen Alexander mean by "positive discrimination" and what's the current legislation on this?

1 comment:

  1. Women on top can only be a good thing! Lets face it, if you are looking for an organisation and Boardroom whose employee demographic reflects the society in which it operates, then its hard to get away from the fact that the female of the species make up 50% (or there abouts) of the population. Trouble is however competent a woman may be (or in fact any senior manager who belongs to a ‘group’ that has traditionally been under represented in the higher echelons of industry), she will have to deal with jibes about positive discrimination. That and the casting couch have done no favours for women and I am sure it will be many generations before such comments are no more.