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BCS suggests rethinking quotas to get more women in at exec levels

Quotas are a 'blunt' instrument, when it comes to embracing more women in executive positions, but it's better to have them than not to have them, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, suggests.

But quotas should be redesigned to better fit their purpose, says Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen. Instead of focusing on reaching a certain number of women in executive positions, they should instead focus on things like parental leave.

“We believe that companies should be encouraged to put more thought into recruitment policies and target planning for success to ensure an equal pipeline of female talent. While we’re not advocates of quotas, not having quotas has not changed anything. We know they are a blunt instrument and can have unwanted consequences (e.g. tokenism), however, they do force change,” said Arnold.

“We feel that could be room for some kind of quotas which focus not on the number of women on boards or executive leadership but more on the elements that will bring about lasting change for example, parental leave policies, balanced recruitment pipelines, transparent recruitment processes, educating children to appreciate and embrace diversity and ensure gender parity when it comes to pay and opportunities.”

To this end, BCS has recommended a number of changes, including closing the gender pay gap, showcasing women role models so that other women have someone to aspire to, or improvements to the pay for part-time work, to make it a more valid career choice, for both men and women.

BCS also reminds that recent research shows how businesses with more women in managerial positions show better organisational and financial performance.

Image source: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens