This latest publication from PwC, “The leaking pipeline: where are our female leaders?” investigates some of the obstacles faced by women as they progress through the ranks of professional services organisations. The analogy of a leaking pipeline is meant to reflect the way in which organisations are loosing their female talent. Research commissioned by PwC UK indicates that, in most ‘first world’ countries, men and women enter the professional services sector at an equal rate. However, women are lost from the pipeline through voluntary termination at a rate two or three times faster than men once they have attained the experienced, mid-career, manager/senior manager level of their careers. Research conducted by PwC’s Genesis Park leadership development programme found no evidence of deliberate, conscious gender bias. However, there research does suggest the following: a lack of pro-active consideration of females for major assignments; a lack of gender consideration in succession planning; and a reticence amongst senior men to mentor women at the leadership level. Together these factors all contribute to the current condition found throughout the professional services industry. The subsequent lack of female role models at the senior levels exacerbates the perception amongst women that advancement opportunities are limited. Evidence suggests that this increases the shrinking pool from which to find these leaders and role models. The report goes on to provide a series of recommendations for companies wishing to build gender diversity in order to increase the bottom line, while still promoting the advancement of women in the workplace.
To report is available for download from the PricewaterhouseCoopers website