Having women in senior positions has a positive effect on stock markets but it’s often women who are holding themselves back, not the men.

According to Michel Ferrary, professor of Human Resource Management at SKEMA Business School, France, and creator of the Femina Index, there is evidence that having women in senior management and board level positions, improves stock market performance. His research has shown that companies whose management teams are at least 35 per cent female, performed better during the financial crisis than more masculinised teams.

Additionally, Cary Cooper, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology & Health at Lancaster University Management School, claims that it is both men and women’s attitudes to women in executive positions that stop many woman from taking that final leap into the boardroom and causes many at senior level to drop out. “It may be because men feel threatened so they play organisational politics to scare women off.” he says.

Even without this,  Professor Cooper says some women may see the male-dominated politicking that characterises the higher levels of many organisations as unattractive and just opt out.

Alternatively women may be content to stay where they are. “Many great middle-tier female managers who could easily rise to the very top simply don’t.” says Cooper.

Another issue is the fact that women are less likely than men to draw attention to their successes. “Women do not promote themselves and their successes as much as men. They feel that their performance is noted without that – which may not be the case.”

Although tempting to assume that women fail to promote themselves because of a lack of self-confidence, while self-confident men wave their success in the faces of superiors, Professor Cooper says it is the other way around.

“Deep down men are less self-confident that they tend to talk themselves up,” says Cooper. Women meanwhile, are more likely to be content simply knowing that they have done a good job without needing to shout about it. As a result their successes are less likely to be known about at the top. “Women need to talk up their successes.” he says.

To read the full article in Everywoman Club Magazine, click here.

Executive Networking for Success

 Networking can help you build productive business relationships which are essential in the running of a successful business.  However, remember that networking should be a fun and informal way to make and strengthen business relationships, so avoid a hard sales pitch style introduction, and instead, make your exchange friendly and informal.  Highlighting your company’s most recent accomplishments such as a new client or completed project keeps the conversation relevant, and you will always win people over if you are enthusiastic and passionate about your business.  Discuss what inspired you in starting up your business or taking your position within the company, but be aware not to hijack the conversation, so ask appropiate and interesting questions in return.  Researching who will be at the networking event is crucial if you are looking to make particular connections, and be sure to follow up your new contacts via connecting on LinkedIn, a friendly email. The Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club is a friendly and supportive networking group who meet monthly, with guest speakers, at Storm fish restaurant in Poole.

Finding the right networking group for you is essential.  The Engage Directors run a networking group for Women which meets monthly at Storm fish restaurant in Poole and features relevant and inspiring guest speakers – from Lush founder, Mark Constantine, to best selling author and founder of Company Shortcuts, Lara Morgan.  For more information on the Poole Business Women’s Lunch Club, see http://www.businesswomenslunchclub.co.uk/

Female Execs Earn £400,000 Less Than Their Male Peers


We were stunned although not altogther surprised on hearing the news that female executives earn around £400,000 less in their career lifetime than male executives in comparable positions.  The Telegraph covers this story here


The average female company executive earns more than £400,000 less than a male counterpart over her career, a new study has revealed.

The average gender pay gap for UK executives is more than £10,000 a year, while women receive less than half what men are given in bonus payments, said the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The research also showed that 4.3% of female executives were made redundant in the past year, 1.1 percentage points more than male bosses.

Women now make up 57% of company executives, but only 40% are departmental heads and fewer than one in four are chief executives.

The CMI estimated that a woman taking up an executive job at the age of 25 and working until 60 would earn almost £1.1 million, compared with more than £1.5 million for men.

A survey of more than 38,000 executives revealed a “substantial” gender pay gap at the higher end of the executive career ladder.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: “A lot of businesses have been focused on getting more women on boards but we’ve still got a lot to do on equal pay and equal representation in top executive roles. Women make up almost three out of four at the bottom of the ladder but only one out of four at the top.

“This lack of a strong talent pipeline has to change, and fast. Allowing these types of gender inequalities to continue is precisely the kind of bad management that we need to stamp out.

“Companies are missing out on the full range of management potential at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to boost economic growth.”

Dawn Nicholson of finance firm PwC said: “The size of the lifetime earnings gap between men and women is disturbing and suggests that women are going backwards versus their male counterparts.

“If the career path is identical, then it is hard to see why the differential would exist, let alone how it could be justified.

“Employers must really ask themselves whether they are being absolutely unbiased in the pay decisions they make. They need to consider whether they are fairly evaluating the different and diverse skill sets, not just of men and women in their companies, but of all of their employees.”

Labour equalities spokeswoman Kate Green said: “It is both unfair and unjustified that women should be paid less than men for doing equivalent jobs.

“The gender-pay gap at the management level is still higher now than it was in 2010, and at this rate, 42 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, it will take at least another 21 years for management-level pay amongst men and women to be equalised. This is simply not good enough.

“It will be a continuing disappointment to many that the Government is still refusing to consider the provisions, provided for by Labour, to introduce mandatory equal pay audits if sufficient voluntary progress isn’t made.

“We also learn that, in the year female unemployment hit a 25-year national high, women executives have been hit disproportionately hard by job losses and female directors have been made redundant at twice the rate of men. It is increasingly clear that, on jobs, as well as pay, the clock on women’s equality is being turned back.”

Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson said: “These figures show that women are still being paid less than men. More needs to be done to tackle this, and we are committed to doing so.

“So far we have made good progress to end pay discrimination.

“We have implemented measures in the Equality Act to make pay secrecy clauses unlawful and we are taking through legislation which would give Tribunals power to order that employers conduct a pay audit where they have been found to discriminate over pay.

“On top of this, our Think, Act, Report initiative encourages companies to report on gender equality in the workplace, including reporting on pay and other workplace issues.

“But for all this, pay inequality remains a stubborn obstacle to real fairness in the workplace. We will continue to work with businesses to ensure that we do all we can to help them make the most of women’s talents, and unlock their full potential.”