Rebecca Hourston, Managing Director, Global Head of Women’s Leadership Programs, Talking Talent discusses Prioritizing female leadership right now.

We kept wishing the world would change. Almost overnight, the wish has been granted – only not quite in the way we’d imagined. Watching the COVID-19 pandemic sweep across the globe, forcibly shunting individuals, businesses, and entire economies into behaviour they’d never imagined possible, has left us clutching for hope. How can we harness this vast, ruinous, desperately fast change, and extract from it the prescription for leading our world of work into a lastingly transformed future?

So much has been rotten, or stagnant, or behind the curve, or turgidly repetitive: the glacially slow progress towards gender balance; the gender pay chasms (never mind gaps); the unspoken rule that we have to pretend we don’t have families or home-life commitments to juggle; and rigid presenteeism have made securing a genuinely career-propelling flexible or part-time role about as likely as no-one speaking on top of each other on your next Zoom team call.

Fast-forward, and mixed up within all the heartache, tragedy and extreme disruption of these first few months of 2020, there are brilliant, inspiringly inclusive ways of working popping up all over the place – from the surge in reliance on previously untouched video-conferencing platforms to the creative ways teams are finding to connect, share, and (even) celebrate special occasions while working remotely.

  • The concepts of ‘inclusion’ and ‘inclusive leadership’ and how businesses must eschew the misguided
  • The need for businesses to focus their efforts on maintaining the progress already made in developing female and other minority pipelines
  • How the government’s act of lifting the gender pay reporting requirement for this year is not a free pass for businesses to ease up on efforts – this is a test and will reveal true intentions
  • The importance of momentum and how this time of change provides businesses with the perfect opportunity to take action and improve our working world

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