International Women’s Day: PwC highlights areas firms can help female talent
by ISAAC ANYAOGU
March 8, 2018 | 6:23 pm| | | Start Conversation
Professional services firm, PwC Nigeria has found that organisations can help their female talent improve by enthroning transparency to foster inclusive environment, providing strategic support and rethink their approach to work, family, life balance.
“Women are confident, ambitious and actively pursuing their career goals. Leaders should focus on creating an environment where women – and men – can have open conversations, and where there is clarity on what it takes to progress. This will benefit everyone and will lead to better results overall, says Uyi Akpata, Country Senior Partner, PwC.
Akpata further said, “This greater transparency is however just one piece of the puzzle, additional actions are needed to drive change. It must go hand in hand with efforts to mitigate any unconscious biases and gender stereotypes that have traditionally impacted career success and progression in workplaces around the world.”
According to PwC, 82% of women surveyed are confident in their ability to fulfil their career aspirations and 73% are actively seeking career advancement opportunities. The survey was produced to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) on Thursday, 8 March 2018 with response from 3,600 professional women (aged 28-40).
The results of the survey are contained in a report ‘Time to talk: what has to change for women at work.’
PwC encouraged organisations to provide an atmosphere where women need to know where they stand so they can make their own case successfully and trust the feedback they get. “Greater transparency won’t only benefit women, it will foster a more inclusive environment which gives women and men greater opportunities to fulfil their potential.
“Women need the proactive networks of leaders and peers who will develop, promote and champion them as they pursue their career aspirations, both at home and in the workplace. Women need dedicated sponsors and role models of both genders– lack of support from male colleagues will stall progress. This blend of workplace and personal support will also work to underpin the self-advocacy women need to advance and succeed,” says the report.
It adds,”There is a move to redesign maternity and paternity leaves and re-entry programmes, but these efforts should be expanded and promoted, and best practices must be communicated more broadly. Flexibility alone is not the issue: many people don’t take leave or care furloughs precisely because they believe it will hurt their careers. Employers must recognise that everyone is making flexibility demands – it’s not a life-stage or gender-only issue – and help and encourage their people to take advantage of the programmes in place.
The survey which included respondents from employers across 27 industry sectors and from over 60 countries worldwide, also found that42% of respondents feel nervous about the impact starting a family might have on their career and 48% of new mothers felt overlooked for promotions and special projects upon their return to work.
It also revealed that 45% believe diversity can be a barrier to career progression and only 51% of women feel their employers are doing enough to improve gender diversity. 58% of women identified greater transparency as the critical step employers can take, the survey found.
Big Read |