In 2011, a 25 percent voluntary target was set for female representation in the boardroom by the year 2015. While HR departments have been working tirelessly to show that they are doing everything they can to address the imbalance of men and women in business, the belief is that it has made little impact.
Critics claim that the effort has been repetitive and hasn’t made much difference because men and women are fundamentally different. When the scheme was embarked upon the premise was that female and male workers were different in the way they pursued a career. However it has been suggested that the difference actually lies in what men and women are willing to endure to achieve their goals.
A study by the London office of YSC along with KPMG discovered that men and women are equally ambitious, however their careers differ in terms of what has been coined as “rhythm”. This tends to include flexible working arrangements, the implications of which are limits in terms of promotion and progression.
The study highlights that the vast majority of positive leadership behaviour is viewed as identical in men and women.
However, it states: “Women are more frequently described as providing values-based leadership, while men continue to be rated more frequently for their commercial acumen and logical-rational approach to problem-solving.”
In December 2013, a study showed that a man starting a career in a FTSE 100 UK company is 4.5 times more likely to get onto an executive committee than a woman.