Creating a structure to achieve gender diverse outcomes
Without a change in policies, practices and behaviour, female participation rates and women in leadership roles are unlikely to increase significantly.
Your organisation needs to create a structure to effectively achieve gender diverse outcomes, involving these elements:
Reviewing your existing policies and processes
The existing policies and processes for your organisation may have created inherent barriers to entry for gender diverse participation within your organisation’s board, directorships and workforce.
Overall, this requires a review of existing policies and processes to ensure that your organisation is inclusive of everyone — this might include:
Work design considerations
Reviewing your organisation’s policies around flexible work, part-time, job-sharing and returning to work.
Review recruitment processes
Updating your job descriptions and recruitment ads for both board members and staff to ensure gender inclusive language is incorporated may attract a greater pool of diverse applicants.
Improving the board nominations process to require sufficient lead time for any calls for board or leadership nominations, advertising vacancies across multiple platforms to promote opportunities to new and diverse networks as well as setting term limits for board members to encourage regular turnover and improve diversity of thought.
Pathways for women in leadership
Developing clear pathways to support women in leadership roles is critical to making the change happen from the top.
Just as you would scout out talent and coach your players to improve and set goals to score goals, your organisation should do the same for identifying talented female board candidates within or beyond your member base. Provide them with support to build their pathway to nominate for your board or committee.
What you should do
- Review and update existing policies and processes where required.
- Improve board nominations and recruitment processes as a starting point.
- Develop clear pathways to have women in leadership roles.
- Create and resource the structure effectively and ensure that the required amount of capacity is allocated to the designated roles.