in 2018, there was a review detailing the reasons there were not more women in the boardrooms of FTSE 350 companies (Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, May 2018). The reasoning, provided anonymously, as to why more women were not in senior positions, I found to be appalling, because as Amanda Mackenzie (Chief Executive of Business in the Community) stated, “As you read this list of excuses you might think it’s 1918 not 2018”
— indeed, Amanda, indeed. Reasons put forth include, women “don’t fit in”, “don’t want the hassle of top jobs”, don’t have “the right credentials... the issues covered are extremely complex”, “we have one woman already... we are done - it is someone else’s turn.”
What is framed as being the case for the masses is more a generalized and biased, yet accepted view of yesteryear rather than true norms of today. It is so disappointing to read the clear, extreme unconscious bias that still exists today as though we are in a time capsule from decades gone by. What is more concerning is the impact these biases, likely founded in deep- seated stereotypes presented as facts, have on women at any point in their career.
If I could do one thing to leave my mark on the industry, it would be to work with women and industry leaders full stop, to change these flagrant misperceptions and pave a way for gender balance and equitable opportunities at all levels.