Most articles and debates tend to be heavily dominated by the lack of women on today’s boards, focussing on the value of quotas and the pros and cons associated with them. We know that a diverse board helps to create new and innovative ways of working and indeed much research points to an increase in company profitability. Equally we cannot ignore some of the negative responses from some men who may feel that their female colleagues are awarded positions due to gender quotas rather than merit and skills.
However what we see or hear very little about is the topic of how to increase the numbers of women on boards in ten or twenty years. Where should we start in the ‘supply chain’ of female talent? How far back should development of capability and mind set begin? What can businesses and governments do to develop and prepare women at the start of their careers for future board positions? Whatever the answers, quotas or legal regulations, perhaps the debate should start much earlier in the life cycle or else as a society we may be in danger of becoming complacent once we hit our required quotas???
Alka Ghandi is a Consultant in the Consumer Practice at Berwick Partners
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