Think Women: encouraging a workforce where women thrive

Discover what you can do to support women in international roles. Join us at our Think Women Lunch on 6 March to discuss how inclusion, leadership development and education can promote more opportunities globally for women and girls.

Think women: encouraging a workforce where women thrive
Relocate Magazine January 2020
This article is taken from the latest issue of Relocate magazine – the must read for HR, global managers and relocation professionals.
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Does International Women’s Day still matter? With women making progress in corporate and public life, why do we need to mark the occasion?Relocate’s Think Women lunch will be held on 6 March at the Institute of Directors, London as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day. Hear from, and network with, inspiring women and men. Support women and girls to progress in international careers. Eventbrite - Relocate Think Women Event: London - 6 March 2020The answer is that while there have been improvements in some areas, progress is not universal. Not all women have access to quality education and opportunities for training and promotion. Women’s career progression, mentoring opportunities and pay still lag behind those of men.

Gender equality: time for change

Even at the highest levels of companies, men still occupy many of the most important roles, thus setting the tone for the culture of the organisation. For example, the government has set targets for 33% of board members to be female by the end of 2020. Data released in November by the Hampton-Alexander Review for its 2019 report shows the FTSE 100 is unlikely to meet its target by the end of next year.“Four years on, too few women are being appointed into senior leadership roles in the FTSE 100, with around two-thirds of all available roles still going to men,” the report says. “Unless the appointment rate of women is nearer 50% in the coming year – that is half of all available roles going to women and half going to men – the FTSE 100 will not achieve the target by the end of2020.”

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It’s a similar picture for smaller UK companies – those in the FTSE 250 and 350. Yet research consistently shows that having a diverse workforce where women are fully represented is likely to lead to greater profitability. “In 2019, our dataset continues to show a significant link between diversity and financial performance, with companies in the top quartile for executive team diversity 15-24% more likely to outperform,” says Vivian Hunt DBE managing partner, UK and Ireland at McKinsey & Company.

Work: What can be done to empower women?

So, what are the ingredients for a business where all employees – women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ – can be empowered and promoted? Suki Sandhu is founder and CEO of Audeliss, a global boutique executive search firm specialising in diverse appointments. He received an OBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list for Services to Diversity in Business and is a Stonewall Ambassador. He set up INvolve, a global membership organisation and consultancy championing diversity and inclusion in businesses.Mr Sandhu believes that diversity and inclusion strategies are still failing to be fully representative of the communities they are meant to support. For example, while talent pipelining increasingly focuses on gender, it’s often the case that ethnic minority women are largely left behind.

Listen to Teresa Boughey – CIPD fellow, CEO of Jungle HR and policy influencer - talk about the importance of inclusion

Double glass ceiling

Research from McKinsey’s 2019 study, Women in the Workplace, shed a light on this ‘double glass ceiling’ in stark detail. While women only occupied 22% of C-suite positions as of 2019, just 4% of those women were ethnic minorities, remaining largely unchanged, while the number of white women in leadership positions continues to grow over the past few years.“At Audeliss, we have a saying that we like to refer to by Verna Myers (inclusion strategist),” Mr Sandhu explains. “Diversity is being invited to the party and inclusion is being asked to dance. It’s simple and effective, yet so true. I don’t believe you can ever truly have diversity without adopting an inclusive environment, and this comes from the genuine care of your team.”The role of managers is to adopt inclusive and purposeful leadership, says Mr Sandhu. “This comes from knowing your team and adapting your principles to ensure that their work and lifestyle are fully supported,” he adds. “Offering a flexible style of working to your workforce helps to support the wellbeing and work-life balance that is required for the demands of modern life.“Audeliss recognises that people are at the beating heart of the business and inclusive leadership means supporting everyone to continue their growth – both personal and professional.”

Gender pay gap and company values

Some industries are worse than others. The financial services industry has one of the biggest bonus gaps, according to recruitment firm Robert Walters. For every £1 of bonus money paid to men working in finance, their female colleagues will take home 65p. There are still more men called Steve on the boards of FTSE 100 companies than there are women, according to research by INvolve.“Company values cannot be standalone,” says Teresa Boughey, founder and CEO of Jungle PR and author of Closing the Gap–5Steps to Creating an Inclusive Culture. “They cannot just be written down; they must live and breathe within an organisation. They form part of the company’s identity and will set out principles, beliefs and philosophies – they help others to know who you are and what you stand for.Relocate’s Think Women lunch will be held on 6 March at the Institute of Directors, London as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day. Hear from, and network with, inspiring women and men. Support women and girls to progress in international careers. Eventbrite - Relocate Think Women Event: London - 6 March 2020

Lunch keynote speaker

We are thrilled to announce that Vlatka Hlupic is, our lunch keynote speaker at Think Women.
Professor Vlatka Hlupic is an award-winning international thought leader, author of “The Management Shift” and “Humane Capital” books, leading academic and Professor of Leadership and Organizational Transformation at Hult Ashridge Executive Education, management consultant, inspiring speaker, executive coach, CEO and founder of The Management Shift Consulting and Drucker Society London.Driven by her passion and purpose to make this world a better place, she is creating a global impact with her work, helping thousands of leaders and organisations worldwide to shift to a higher level of performance and profit whilst creating more engaging, purposeful and happier work places that do well by doing good.She will speak to our Think Women audience about the power of creating positive ripples which can be transformational for women wanting to make a difference in their lives, careers, their organisations and in their communities. Her research driven approach, demonstrates how the few affect the whole, and her engaging talk and understanding of people and business will be inspirational to all. Join us and share your views over lunch.

Our workshop speakers

Teresa Boughey
The workshop includes discussions with guest speaker Teresa Boughey, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), founder and CEO of Jungle HR and best-selling author of Closing the Gap – 5 Steps to Creating an Inclusive Culturewhich has been shortlisted for a Business Book Award 2020. She is passionate about enabling organisations to create inclusive workplace cultures.
Carrie Clark
Carrie Clark has spent more than a decade pursuing her dream of becoming an airline pilot. She aims to make the aviation industry more accessible to people from all backgrounds and encourage a more diverse group of young people to become the next generation of pilots – particularly women. 
Ann Ellis is the co-founder and CEO of Mauve.
Ann Ellis, founder of Mauve, shares her inspiring journey from Welsh farming family and headteacher to CEO of a global workforce solutions company. She wanted to be an entrepreneur at the age of nine.Ann was the first and only “back-office” employee of Mauve Group in the very early days, operating from a tiny cupboard-sized office in Teolo, Northern Italy. Today, Mauve Group is an international organisation providing services in more than 150 country locations worldwide.

Think Women International Womens Day
Think Women lunch will be held on 6 March at the Institute of Directors, London as part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day. Hear from, and network with, inspiring women and men. Support women and girls to progress in international careers. 

Relocate Think Women Networking Event Book EventbriteSimilar Think Women events will be held in EMEA, APAC and the Americas later in the year and virtually. Contact us at to find out how you can be involved in your area. 

Read more articles in the Winter Issue of Relocate Magazine. 

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