HeForShe and PwC launch online course for gender equality education

28 October 2016 Consultancy.uk

To support people to better understand the benefits of gender equality as well as the costs of inequality, HeForShe and PwC recently launched the ‘Building Gender IQ’ online course. The free, 35 minute programme involves video from expert lecturers as well as standalone activities aimed at developing a more critical approach to gender equality and wider community, work and home life participation.

Gender inequality remains a thorny issue, with considerable global barriers, invisible or otherwise, withholding women from a range of good lives. For the business world, interested in profitability, gender equality is a factor that affects business and economic performance, as highlighted by a recent Grant Thornton study and a systematic McKinsey & Company report. While efforts are being implanted across organisations to boost boardroom and executive gender parity, recent studies highlight that few women enter into key business decision executive functions.

One of the organisations launched to improve gender equality is HeForShe. The organisation was founded in 2014 to provide a systematic approach to transforming boys and men into agents of change in the movement towards gender equality. Created by UN Women, the organisation aims to develop solidarity between boys and men and global women’s movement initiative, by “crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity.”

PwC and HeForShe launch gender equality IQ building education programme

Accounting and consulting firm PwC is one of HeForShe's supporters. Dennis Nally, a Partner at the firm, was named an IMPACT 10x10x10 Champion* – reflecting the firm’s commitment to the programme and its dissemination across its organisation and globally. As part of their collaboration, the partners have launched an education programme to teach all people about the benefits of gender equality as well as the costs of inequality.

The programme is called ‘Building Gender IQ’, and provides participants with a 35 minute curriculum on the benefits of gender equality as well as the costs of inequality. The curriculum involves video-based expert lectures and individual activities, and supports the users’ critical thinking faculty to light the benefits of equality are not only for women, but for all of society. The course also aims to develop participants into advocates of equality in communities, the workplace and at home.

The joint development of the programme reflects the completion of one of the three key pillars of the firm’s IMPACT 10x10x10 Champion commitment. Bob Moritz, Chairman of PwC, adds, "We all have a role to play in making gender equality a reality. As a HeForShe IMPACT champion, we’ve developed a brief online course, ‘Building Gender IQ,’ to raise awareness of the impact of gender norms and stereotypes, the cost of gender inequality, and the benefits of gender equality for individuals and societies. I would encourage everyone to spread the word, take the course, and turn it into an asset that enables change.”

* IMPACT 10x10x10 was developed by HeForShe to engage 30 male leaders globally, from public and private institutions, focused on accelerating the world towards the UN Women’s ‘Planet 50 -50 by 2030’ vision for a gender equal world.

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Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.