There was a time when female executives were a rare thing but in recent years there has been real progress with regards to gender diversity in the boardroom and there are now more women in influential senior positions in the UK than ever before.
According to a recent Government report on gender equality in the boardroom, just under 25% of all boardroom positions in FTSE 100 companies are now occupied by women with plans to boost the numbers to one-third of all positions by 2020.
At the time of the report’s release, then Business Secretary Vince Cable, said: “The evidence is irrefutable: boards with a healthy female representation outperform their male-dominated rivals.”
With such unequivocal evidence regarding the business benefits of gender balance in the boardroom, there has never been a more exciting time for women in business and there are several industries currently embracing this diversity.
The financial services industry was once seen as the preserve of men but there is now a growing number of women holding senior positions in some of the world’s leading financial companies.
HSBC bank has been paving the way for more gender diversity by setting a gender parity target for its most senior roles by 2020. Currently its senior management contains 29% women but the company are looking to significantly increase this figure and implement policies and recruitment drives to address this. But it’s not just HSBC who are looking to improve workplace diversity, 64% of UK finance directors surveyed recently agreed there is more opportunity for female graduates to ascend to chief executive roles than ever before.
There are already a number of powerful women in the city who are great role models for aspiring young finance professionals. Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital Group, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money and Helena Morissey, CEO of Newton Investments are all figures who have successfully navigated the male dominated world of finance and have urged companies to set their own gender balance records.
Top three financial services jobs for women in 2016:
- Finance Manager
- Investment Analyst
The number of women in advertising is following the national upward trend with around a quarter occupying senior positions and there is much being done to encourage further growth at the top.
Last year, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and Campaign Magazine launched the Women of Tomorrow 2016 Awards in order to identify the female advertising leaders of the future. As well as this, the international advertising festival, Cannes Lions, also recognised the accomplishments of female advertising professionals by awarding its inaugural Glass Lion Award to Procter and Gamble India’s ‘Touch the Pickle’ campaign which challenged shallow gender stereotypes by breaking down a long held cultural taboo. This has therefore led to an ongoing debate about the need for diversity and more women in the industry which can only be good news.
Top three advertising jobs for women in 2016:
- Advertising Sales Executive
- Film and Video Editor
- Market Research Analyst
The UK currently leads the way in Europe as the country with the most women in senior tech roles which suggests that the UK tech industry has become a hotbed for talented female professionals. On top of this, 17 women have recently been nominated for the Europe-wide Inspiring Fifty programme which showcases the achievements of female leaders in the technology sector.
This helps to counteract recent claims that the recruiting of women into tech has stagnated and shows that there are lots of inspiring female role models out there for young female professionals who may be considering a career in tech.
There are also more initiatives and schemes than ever before which have been set up to encourage women to follow careers in the tech sector. From Google’s Codegirl campaign to the Government-backed STEM initiatives, there are dozens of exciting and inspirational schemes underway which aim to improve gender diversity within the industry and equip women with the digital skills they need to succeed.
There is still a fair way to go before gender parity is reached but the tech industry is working hard to change that this year.
Top three tech jobs for women in 2016:
- Wireless Network Engineer
- Data Analysts
- Big Data Engineer