What an excellent business plan!

Heather Jackson, founder of An Inspirational Journey, an organisation that advises companies on getting more women into senior roles, said putting the spotlight on the FTSE 100 highlighted the problem of gender imbalance in a simple way. “Put like that it summarises how far we have to go to get more female CEOs at the top.”

She said it takes “a good twenty years to get a good CEO in place, developing them from middle management”. But, she added, too many companies were cutting back on programmes and training aimed at improving gender balance at the top.

“The systems and processes are in place, but it is the desire to implement that is going wrong,” she said. “They are talking about it rather than walking it.”

Because, of course, once you’re taken on to produce such a CEO from the middle ranks you’ve then got a 20 year contract!

10 thoughts on “What an excellent business plan!”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Once you insist that reality must agree with your demented ideology you have a job for life. Or at least until people wise up and call your bluff.

  2. “Developing” CEOs sounds like shite anyway. Could a programme be developed to turn Fat Doris from No 32 into Scarlet Johansson? Either the looks are there or they are not.
    So in business either the talent and drive are there or they are not. Those who have it will work their way up–those who don’t can’t get it by going thro’ some programme.

  3. Mr Ecks

    “Could a programme be developed to turn Fat Doris from No 32 into Scarlet Johansson?”

    Shall we ask kickstarter?

  4. I have very occasionally come across people being ‘groomed’ to have a senior role in their organisation. Required to have long contracts, they had help with external qualifications in return for staying x years after completion. And happened with every qualification.
    While not a CEO yet, the ones I still keep in touch with have done well in either their organisation or another after leaving. Two are finance directors within large organisations dealing with lots of millions of pounds these days. Not a group prevented from applying for CEO posts…. 🙂

  5. The headline is interesting:

    Fewer women leading FTSE firms than men called John

    We see headlines along similar lines to that a lot, and the underlying assumption is always that it’s a problem – if not a flagrant injustice, crying out to the heavens for correction. As if all the guys named John were conniving to keep women down, or some such.

    But let’s put a different spin on it. Why aren’t women pulling their weight?

    If we’re terribly concerned about the genitalia of our chief execs, why aren’t more people with vaginas demonstrating the skills and hard work it takes to become a C-level bod at a FTSE listed firm?

    Are they waiting for somebody to roll out a red carpet for them? John didn’t get a ticker tape parade to usher him into his CEO job. He had to work like a bastard to get where he is.

    And where are our female sewage workers, binmen, and road sweepers?

    Of course, in reality the paucity of lady CEO’s (and binmen) is a reflection of female priorities and behaviours being different from men. But reality doesn’t work with Guardian folk, so I enjoy doing a bit of rhetorical jujitsu on them instead.

  6. The organisations I’ve worked for have all had various “Talent Fast Track” programmes. I’ve never been on one myself ( mediocrity is it’s own reward), but knowing most of the people who’ve made it onto these programmes I’ve no doubt that they are focussing on the best and they are there on merit. Although it’s important to point out that promotion isn’t reserved only for those on the Fast Track.

    There are parallel programmes focused on women/minorities but they are more concerned with helping them achieve the results needed to get onto the Talent streams. I don’t see these as anything other than enhanced employee training.

  7. I have very occasionally come across people being ‘groomed’ to have a senior role in their organisation.

    So have I, lots of them. They are carefully selected to ensure they are pathetic, arse-licking sheep to those above them and utter shits to those below them. Competence doesn’t even get considered.

  8. @ GlenDorran
    I personally am far from convinced that all on fast track are there on merit. That is *not* because I was the first in my cohort to qualify as an AIA at which point* I was one or two grades behind those on unofficial fast track (my management skills are zilch), more because when it was officially (as against unofficially) introduced into the Civil Sevice and I asked by big sister’s boyfriend who was sorting out computer sysatems for the Cabinet Office he replied that the qualification was not intellectual but to be an utter bastard.
    * A couple of weeks later my downtrodden department head called me in to tell me that I had been promoted one grade and reading off a script he had been given without looking me in the eye even once said that this was due to my performance at work and not related to exams. I was quietly polite because you don’t kick a man when he’s down.

  9. john77: My drily made comment about merit was probably a bit too dry…..

    I’m not fussed about not being asked to join one of these programmes (I’ve never been looking for anything more than an interesting job that pays enough to meet my relatively modest tastes – I have no list for power). I just wish that some of the people on them genuinely were ‘talent’ and not just as Tim Newman describes above.

  10. @ GlenDorran
    Sorry, I took you too literally
    I agree with almost all you say (the difference is that I have negative lust for power). Incidentally some years my interesting job pays less than I should get as a state pension if I gave up and said I was retired.

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