If recent reports are to be believed, the government’s attempts to assist more women into boardrooms will be opposed by the vast majority of businesses.

A report from Cass Business School and Search Consultancy has suggested that around two thirds of businesses are fundamentally opposed to any sort of voluntary quota for women on boards, and much of this could be related to the fact that many women want to make their arrival into the company boardroom one based on merit, as opposed to getting a leg up from Westminster. Fair enough.

But that can’t make up for every vote, clearly there are still plenty of individuals in the world of work who oppose the idea of women being involved in senior management positions. If that’s the case, what sort of message is it sending out to women in the workplace? More importantly, how aware are business of whether their own staff think their workplace is one in which women can thrive?

All this comes on the back of Lord Davies’ suggestion that a voluntary quota is the best way to encourage women into the boardroom.

Few would disagree that women are underrepresented in boardrooms, particularly in relation to the population as a whole. However, the question of whether a quota of any kind is the right way to correct the balance divides opinion.

More importantly though, businesses of every size should be concerning themselves with whether their female employees feel valued enough and able to progress.

After all no company would want to lose its brightest talent.

So, the question is, are you are aware of how your staff feel about gender equality?

It can be a difficult subject to broach and staff may not be willing to freely share their thoughts on such a sensitive matter.
Fortunately, 360 degree feedback allows business to assess the importance of sensible matters with their staff in a way that provides genuine feedback, and by assessing staff opinion through anonymous online tools, staff can express their opinions freely and businesses can ensure that potentially volatile issues are identified then managed effectively.

Elva Ainsworth
Talent Innovations – download our latest whitepaper by clicking 360 degree appraisal