Women need development to progress, report reveals
Women have a strong appetite for personal development and have identified behaviour-led skills as opposed to more functional skills as a key to progression.
That was a key finding in a report by coaching company Talking Talent, which surveyed more than 2,500 women on their careers, in addition to skills and support needed to overcome these issues.
Research revealed that self-belief and confidence (56 per cent) was ranked as the highest requirement for all ages, with networking (54 per cent) as the second highest priority and building brand/profile (40 per cent) third. According to the study, the latter two skills are often perceived to be areas which men perform better in and indeed perform better in.
Employers are advised that greater support is needed for women in these areas. In supporting this self-development, the research outlines greater management support (53 per cent) and coaching and development (48 per cent) as the most important tools to break down barriers and to help women progress, closely followed by that sought after improvement in flexible working (46 per cent).
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent, said: "Companies need to support women at all stages and introduce interventions to prevent barriers arising, enabling talent to move through the business at a quicker, and more consistent pace.
"As the research highlights, interventions such as coaching are in demand and for high potential women in particular it can be critical in preparing them for senior and board level roles. But they must be only part of the solution. This needs to be a holistic approach which involves the organisation, the managers and the employees. The role of the manager cannot be overstated but they themselves must receive the right support and challenge to ensure they can make good organisational policy a day to day reality.
"Organisations need to ensure they have the right mechanisms in place to enable managers to make flexible, part-time and alternative career paths work. Overlaid on top of that managerial support, each organisation must also evaluate how it can provide more female role models and senior mentors."