CMI Highlights – 20 September

Wednesday 20 September 2023
This week: zooming in on data skills and Management & Leadership all over the world
A typewriter with some paper with 'Update' written on it

Dear all,

Investment in management and leadership in the UK is at a historic low. More than ten years ago, CMI research found that four in five managers were untrained “accidental managers. A decade on, our latest figures show that this has not changed. 

This week, CMI’s CEO, Ann Francke OBE, appeared on Isabel Berwick’s Working It podcast to discuss why management and leadership is not taken as seriously in Britain as in other cultures. Ann, who has lived and worked in both the US and Germany, shared her observations. It’s a great show! Listen or read back the whole conversation here.

CMI is going global

CMI’s presence continues to grow across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. With Ann and the CMI international team visiting some key CMI regions in Asia this week, here’s the lowdown on CMI’s growing presence in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

You can get even more CMI updates and tips across our social media channels, from LinkedIn to TikTok.

CMI data sheds light on parenthood challenges

In an article exploring international attitudes to child rearing, The Guardian referenced a recent CMI study which found that one in four parents had had their commitment to their job questioned by their employer because of their parental responsibilities. One in three women said they had had to adjust the way they work to accommodate childcare – whether by going part time or changing jobs entirely – compared with just one in ten men. 

This data brings into stark relief the “parent penalty” paid by those with children, particularly by women.

CMI Insights recently explored why shared parental leave matters (and how to make it work) and strategies to make parents feel valued.

As a society, we need to change the culture surrounding career and family, the burden of domestic work and flexibility in the workplace. CMI Insights has also explored actions that men can take, from advocating for parental leave to actively creating space for women. I urge you to champion these issues in your own organisations.

Workplace relationships

Following Bernard Looney’s resignation as BP’s chief executive amid a review of his personal relationships with colleagues, CMI’s CEO, Ann Francke OBE, wrote a column for The Guardian examining unequal power dynamics and workplace relationships and what this teaches us about company culture.

“A string of work-based relationships is not the message that should be [coming from] a CEO who oversees a modern company and speaks openly about being guided by values,” she wrote. “These events prove again that company culture cannot be just a slogan … it must be central to how people are treated, how leaders should act … and, crucially, how bad behaviour is seen and dealt with.

Such high-profile cases pose a wider challenge for managers and leaders across the country, she continued. “Behaviour matters and it should be in line with your company’s values.”

Are you data-literate?

CMI is always monitoring the employability skills our members need to stay ahead. 

As our society becomes increasingly digital, one area where managers and leaders need urgent upskilling is data literacy. Understanding the basics of data science will help you and your team to make more robust, informed decisions – a vital leadership skill.

This week we spoke to several data experts to get their insights on what you need to become a more effective, data-driven manager:

How to help new students settle in

Many fresh graduates are taking their first steps into the world of work this September. Maybe you’ve had one join your team. If so, I encourage you to check out the expert insights from Jonathan Lawson of Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Jenny Taylor MBE, leader of IBM’s Early Professionals programme, on how to help these new starters settle in.

Finally, wishing any members of the CMI community marking Yom Kippur on Sunday a meaningful celebration.

Kind regards,


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