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Action plan launched to grow female talent pipeline

#WomanUp, an action plan on female leadership, has been launched. It aims to help businesses increase the number of women who take up leadership roles, to accelerate the female talent pipeline and to assist women overcome barriers to career progression.

#WomanUp has been published by WoW, a voluntary female leadership initiative, with the support of Davy. The actions are based on an extensive research process, the learnings from WoW's development programme, designed to build confidence and leadership skills of 27 aspiring female leaders, and inputs from senior Irish business leaders and academic leaders1. Gary McGann, Chair of Paddy Power Betfair plc and Chair of Aryzta AG was the guest speaker at the launch event in Davy’s offices.

World Economic Forum (WEF) data indicates it will take 61 years for gender parity to be achieved in Europe. 61 years is too long to wait for gender parity. This is a business issue, not a women’s issue. Harnessing female talent can help businesses become more profitable, competitive and responsive to customer requirements. It is also critical for economic growth.

#WomanUp proposes a series of actions for business leaders including:

  • Making this agenda a priority at Board and CEO level, with targets, accountability and a strategic plan

  • Moving away from trying to get women to fit into a male culture to developing the type of corporate culture where female talent can flourish, not flounder

  • Using data to drive change

  • Enlisting men to support and advocate for women in the workplace

The action plan looks to support women to overcome the confidence barrier that can hold women back in the corporate world. Women do not need to compromise their natural tendencies or behave like men to succeed in the corporate world. Instead, they need to “flex” but not compromise on their management style by:

  • Building greater visibility for themselves within the business

  • Seizing new opportunities and getting more P&L experience

  • Not being shy when it comes to pay negotiations

  • Surrounding themselves with a “tribe” of supporters

Commenting on the #WomanUp action plan, WoW Founder Clodagh Hughes says; “The plan has been published to address the reality that progress in creating better gender balance in business has been slow, despite the good intent on the part of business leaders. While there has been much research on this topic, there has not been a focus on what practical solutions are needed to address the current imbalance. This is the gap that #WomanUp is filling.”

Read more and download the plan on our action plan page.

Note 1: Senior business and academic leaders have contributed to #WomanUp. They include: Michael Buckley (ex AIB CEO and founder of the 30% Club Ireland), David Harney, (CEO Irish Life), Peter Barrett (CEO, SMBC Aviation Capital), UCD’s Professor Niamh Brennan, Marie Moynihan (VP Global Talent, Dell), Mark Ryan (ex-Accenture Country Manager), Professor Joyce O’Connor, Liz Cunningham (Google Director) and Pat Gunne, CEO, Green REIT plc.

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