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Talent pipeline is the key to correcting gender balance


Media release

18 August 2014

Talent pipeline is the key to correcting gender balance

Building a talent pipeline that fosters talented young women from early on in their careers is the key to gender balance at the most senior levels, according to EEO Trust Chief Executive Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie.

Cassidy-Mackenzie’s comments follow this week’s release of figures showing only 11% of directors at NZX-listed companies are women. For the companies that provided information in the latest quarter there were 183 male directors which compared with 22 female directors.

In senior management roles women accounted for just 22% of all positions.

“We can’t expect to see gender balance in senior roles unless we develop a talent pipeline much earlier on. The current approach is ‘too little, too late’.”

“Developing individuals in the early stages of their career ensures they will be ready to step into those mid-tier management roles and from there they can develop the experience they will need for senior management roles and, eventually, the director roles.”

EEO Trust is launching their “Introduction to the Talent Pipeline” workshop series this year with complimentary briefing sessions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in October and November.

“These sessions will give companies a starting point for assessing how they are currently fostering talent and some first steps to take toward ensuring they have a strong, balanced senior leadership team.”

“We will also be sharing case studies from our EEO members who are succeeding in empowering their talent and reaping the rewards.”

Mackenzie adds that while quotas have been introduced in some countries, many organisations have been successful in increasing the number of women in senior roles by setting their own company targets.

“If the drive to improve the gender balance comes from inside the organisation it is likely there will be a much stronger engagement with it. When companies set their own targets and make them a part of their reporting, they also tend to implement other initiatives to support these goals so you see targeted training opportunities and mentoring programmes being developed.”

Notes for editors:

NZX Gender Diversity Statistics (2nd Quarter 2014)

About the EEO Trust

The Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust is a national body mandated by government to provide support to employers around the issue of equal opportunities and diversity in the workplace.

The EEO Trust assists employers in introducing and managing proven EEO thinking and practices, encourages diversity by promoting the recruitment and development of people on the basis of merit and generates awareness of the business benefits and rewards of an inclusive workplace.

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