The Undeniable Impact of Women in Senior Leadership Roles and Strategies for Retention-image

The Undeniable Impact of Women in Senior Leadership Roles and Strategies for Retention

In this article, we’ll explain why women are so integral to senior leadership roles for the effective operation of organisations, both internally and externally. As well as lay out some effective approaches companies ought to adopt to ensure senior female retention.   Quick facts: Current workplace gender imbalance The benefits of gender equity within the workplace, particularly for top-down initiatives, are well known, well documented and certainly well reported.  But even in the face of such benefits, gender imbalance, especially across senior leadership and boards, overwhelmingly persists. Globally, male employees occupy an incredible 65-95% of senior roles.  Any progressive employer should not only be striving for gender balance within the workplace but actively ensuring they have an effective gender parity strategy in place to plug current organisational gaps. Not only should strategies focus on upward mobility for women but also on retention for female leaders. Effective strategies often require nuanced approaches that span employee benefits, competency-based hiring and pay and the need for a cultural shift in often deep-rooted, systemic biases.  The impact of women in leadership Here are some of the top line and most well documented positive impacts that gender equity and increased numbers of women within senior leadership teams can offer organisations. Improved organisational performance  Countless studies have shown a clear and definite correlation between women in senior leadership and improved company performance. This not only applies to improved financial performance but extends granularly into individual employee performance.  Studies have also shown that an increased number of women on board teams can de-risk company performance, reducing the incidence of lawsuits, corporate crimes and tarnished organisational reputations.  Increased innovation In addition to performance, organisations with a higher percentage of women in senior leadership have been found to both invest more in innovation and be more innovative overall.  This has been attributed to increased diversity, viewpoints and creative approaches to decision making apparent within gender-equitable senior leadership teams.  Enhanced employee engagement  Studies have also found that an increased number of women in senior leadership improves overall employee engagement and retention—regardless of gender or identity.  Employees from companies with higher proportions of women are more likely to report overall levels of job satisfaction and positive organisational culture.  Women are more likely to embody empathy and prioritise communication within their leadership style, often driving a more positive and meaningful workplace culture.   Strategies for retention Effective retention strategies are multi-faceted and can include a number of the following iniatives alongside organisational policy change. Address gender pay gaps Despite women in SLT performing, often better than their male counterparts and contributing to improved company performance, they still earn significantly less than men.  Ensuring transparency across pay structures is essential for acquiring top talent and retaining the best female employees. Fair compensation reflective of competency, irrespective of gender, combined with regular reviews and a clear commitment to closing any outstanding pay gaps is critical.  Offer fertility and reproductive health benefits Over 1 million women have left the workplace due to menopausal symptoms and a further 1 in 5 employees going through fertility treatment left their jobs due to insufficient support within the last 5 years alone. Offering fertility and reproductive health benefits has been found to significantly improve retention and employee engagement. These benefits can particularly help female employees, both through challenging life events, like menopause and fertility struggles—but also via mitigating potential future health issues and concerns. Companies need to remember that women’s hormones impact them for nearly their entire lifespan and the workplace needs to cater for these changes.  Educate employees on second-generation gender bias Harvard Business Review recently reported that an integral part of upward organisational mobilisation for women is the removal of second-generation bias. This is often deeply rooted in organisational practices, creating ‘invisible’ barriers for women.  Bias can lead not only to a reduced number of women in SLT but also implicitly hostile working environments for them when they get there. Making employees aware of bias can radically alter attitudes and foster possibilities for meaningful change.  The future of your senior teams  Forbes recently reported on studies highlighting that to see the benefits of an increased number of female leaders, a critical mass of a 30% female team is needed. Forbes similarly reported the need for a Reproductive Revolution in the workplace. This maps onto things like company performance, competency based pay and employee engagement.  The need for women within leadership is, evidently, more crucial than ever. The Economist and McKinsey Global Institute estimate that if global workplace gender gaps were bridged the global economy would surge by 26%. Any successful 21st century business should adopt a rigorous gender parity strategy focusing not only on upward mobilisation but also retention. Contact the Hertility team to learn how we can support you with your journey to becoming a Reproductively Responsible™ employer.

12 Reproductive Health Awareness Days for Your Organisations Event Calendar -image

12 Reproductive Health Awareness Days for Your Organisations Event Calendar 

Over the last five years in the UK alone, 1 in 5 employees undergoing fertility treatment left their jobs due to insufficient support from their employers—and a further 1 million women left their workplaces because of debilitating menopausal symptoms. These are just a couple of the stats that highlight the growing importance of workplace reproductive health benefits as an integral part of employee wellbeing.  As the adage goes, knowledge is power and one of the best places to start is ensuring your employees have ample access to educational resources surrounding their reproductive health.  Awareness days offer purposeful opportunities to provide employees with education and celebration over a range of important issues. This can in turn foster your organisation’s culture whilst making your employees feel seen and supported.  This 2024, why not build some of the following key female reproductive health-focused awareness days into your internal events calendar?  2024 Calendar of Reproductive Health Awareness Days 1. International Women’s Day When: March 8th 2024 What: A globally recognised campaign that celebrates women’s achievements social, economic and political achievements whilst raising awareness for gender equality.  2. National Endometriosis Action Month When: March 2024 What: A globally recognised month of action for the 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth who suffer from the reproductive health condition endometriosis.  3. National Infertility Awareness Week  When: April 21st – 27th 2024 What: A UK-focused awareness week highlighting the challenges, mental and physical, faced by those struggling with infertility. 4. Black Maternal Health Week When: April 11th – 17th 2024 What: A globally recognised week to amplify Black female voices and raise awareness for the historically higher maternal mortality rates in Black women.  5. Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week When: 29th – 5th May 2024 What: A global weeklong campaign dedicated to awareness around mental health struggles before, during and after pregnancy.  6. National Women’s Health Week When: May 12th – 15th 2024 What: A UK-focused weeklong campaign encouraging women and girls to make their health, physical and social wellbeing a priority. 7. Fibroids Awareness Month When: July 2024 What: A globally recognised month to raise awareness about uterine fibroids that affect around 2 in 3 women.   8. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month  When: September 2024 What: A globally recognised month to support those who’ve been diagnosed with or indirectly affected by ovarian cancer.  9. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Month When: September 2024 What: A globally recognised month of action for the 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth who suffer from the reproductive health condition PCOS.  10. Menopause Awareness Month When: October 2024 What: A globally recognised awareness month focused on breaking the stigma surrounding menopause, including World Menopause Day on the 18th of October. 11. Baby Loss Awareness Week When: October 9th – 15th  What: A UK-focused week-long event dedicated to supporting those who have suffered pregnancy or infant loss.  12. National Fertility Awareness Week When: October 30th – 5th November What: A UK-focused weeklong campaign initiated to raise awareness about fertility issues, treatments and reproductive health education.  What next? Embedding reproductive health awareness into an organisation’s event calendar is an imperative step toward fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. The alarming statistics revealing the impact of insufficient support on employee retention underline the urgency of addressing these issues.  By incorporating key awareness days and campaigns, such as International Women’s Day, National Endometriosis Action Month, and Menopause Awareness Month, employers can provide educational resources and celebrate the diverse aspects of female reproductive health. This not only promotes a sense of acknowledgement and support for employees but also contributes to a workplace environment that values the holistic well-being of its people.  At Hertility, we’re shaping the future of the workplace by supporting companies to become Reproductively ResponsibleTM. One way that we do this is through a range of CPD-accredited educational workshops that focus on female fertility and reproductive health. Ultimately, our aim is to change attitudes around reproductive health, both for individuals and in the workplace, and to encourage everyone to be proactive by tracking their reproductive health. We’re calling this the Reproductive Revolution! If you’d like to take proactive steps in this direction in 2024, get in touch –