To mark International Women’s Day, (March 8 2022) data has been collated from the House of Commons library, citing McKinsey research that shows companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom, while companies with more than 30% female executives were more likely to outperform companies that don’t, according to research from academics from the Universities of Glasgow and Leicester.

But only eight women, and no women of colour, are currently employed as CEOs in the FSTE 100, while women hold only 14% of executive directorships and 38% of all directorships, according to the Fawcett Society’s Sex and Power report 2022.

The data shows that women-led SMEs contribute about £85bn to economic output, but Beis research shows that only 16% of small business employers and one in three of entrepreneurs are women. There is further evidence that fewer women get access to financing and business loans, with only 15% of bank financing applications and 22% of new primary business bank account openings coming from women.

At Vocaleyes Democracy CIC we have a female Operations Director (Susan Rodaway) and two of our board members are female (Susan Rodaway and Sarah Hoss) both of whom have juggled the demands of the pandemic, including isolation and working from home, alongside their commitment to Vocaleyes. 

“I look at my daughters and the next generation and I can see tangible change happening, but it’s still too slow as the data shows” Sarah said. Like many companies, Vocaleyes has adapted to having its staff team working from home in a strategy that started during lockdown and has become absorbed into the culture of the company. With remote team members as a company ‘norm’ this wasn’t a big shift but it may help attract more women to apply for posts and help us to create a more diverse workforce. Whilst working from home has been across the population, caring and childcare responsibilities have still landed mainly with women. 

On International Women’s Day we wish all women equal access, respect, opportunities and flexibility to ensure all workers, regardless of gender, reach their full potential.

International Women’s Day 2022