Be Bold for Change, International Women's Day Discussion - CMI London Peer Learning Group Update

17 March 2017

If you didn't manage to make it along to March's London Peer Learning Group event or did and wanted a re-cap, on-the-night facilitators Megan Butler and John Robinson have provided a summary here:

CMI London Peer Learning Group’s International Women’s Day Discussion – a breath of fresh air in a market-place and environment where the ‘air-quality’ is still much ’smoggier’ than it should be!

Gender equality in business and management is an issue that affects us all. Like wider society, the decision-making-table in our organisations is much richer and more empowered if it contains proper representation from every section of society. As such, the historical and stubbornly continuing under-representation of women in leadership and management is a huge threat to the egalitarian ideals that hopefully, most of us cherish.

Although we have come a long way on this matter – particularly in the last 50 years or so – there is still much work to be done.

The CMI London Peer Learning Group’s discussion for International Women’s day was a fantastic opportunity for both men and women who are members of the management profession, to come together to explore some of the real issues facing businesses and other organisations with respect to the ‘missing generation’ of women in leadership. The group saw representation from Financial Services, Professional Services, Oil and Gas, Media, Engineering, the Arts, Retail, Education, Healthcare, Charities and many other sectors and sub-sectors besides. We looked at the background and context of the issue, and then explored a whole range of practical and hypothetical concepts to try to identify some key things that members of our profession can do today, to support the effort for change and make us all stakeholders in a brighter and more equal future.

Could confidence be the key? 

Recent research has shown though women are surpassing men in high education, both part-time and full-time, undergraduate and post-graduate, only 34% of managers in the UK are women.  According to the CMI, to achieve equality the UK will need 1.5 million women managers by 2024.  It is predicted that by achieving this, £150 billion would be added to the UK economy by 2025.  

However, research from Ranstad and the Institute of Leadership and Management suggest that confidence is holding women back the most.  Though, both women and men agree that women are capable, there is however, a reluctance to hire or promote them – an unconscious bias, or as known as the glass-ceiling.

This information proved to be a great insight for the group, and as you can imagine, an explosion of ideas for both short and long term remedies quickly followed – focusing at individual, organisational and wider-societal levels.

We believe that our profession should view these findings as really encouraging and hope-inspiring because if confidence is one of the main barriers, then ALL managers and leaders have one very simple and very powerful tool we can utilise RIGHT NOW to begin to un-write and un-pick the unsatisfactory legacy with which we find ourselves in 2017: MENTORING. 

The Chartered Management Institute London Peer Learning Group is where like-minded managers and leaders of all levels of experience, sectors and locations meet monthly to share their experience and views in a group discussion format. The Group is a network of the London and South East Region.
If you would like to join our future events, spaces are still available for our 12th April event- Managing Myself. Please register for your place on the dedicated CMI Events: London Peer Learning Group page.

Please contact a member of the management team: Martyn Brett-Lee, Charlotte Eisenhart, Gintare Butkute or Megan Butler.