nick venedi

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Women in senior positions

I recently read an article based on a survey conducted by Grant Thornton that the UK is behind the Philippines in appointing women to senior posts. The survey lists the UK at 26th place in the world with just two thirds of firms employing women in high ranking positions. The Philippines came top with Russia second and China not far behind.
What is interesting about these stats is that the common perception, or popular notion, that it would be Europe that leads in this field is not correct and the figures show clearly that the developing world is far ahead on this. The stats also show that we need to be doing more as Trade Unionists to breach this gap of disgrace.
The broad picture, as suggested by the survey, brings some home truths to light too through personal experience. In Lambeth, for example, the employer has always had major problems dealing with this challenge and whenever a senior appointment of a woman chief officer is made it has usually been followed by their quick demise. I can name names to illustrate this but I will not to protect the officers in question. There is something wrong with a system that allows this situation and more action should be taken. I can only congratulate Unison for taking steps by introducing the concept of proportionality to deal with our own problems in this respect.


  1. Lets hope we soon have a woman in the top spot at UNISON as well - our general, deputy and assistant secretaries are all men - being as we have a membership of 70% women this doesn't seem right!

  2. That's pretty ripe coming from someone who has only ever supported a male candidate for the job of General Secretary! Maybe the "United Left" will put up a woman next time or will they simply fall in behind the pale, male, stale (and failed) previous hard left candidates of Rogers or Bannister?

  3. Dear Anon on the 13th April 16.23

    Thanks for the comment. My entry was about organisations and large employers hiring or appointing women in senior positions. The survey was about that and not about positions contested by elections?

    I supported one of the 3 male candidates for the position of Genral Secretary the last time. They were the 3 most credible candidates but had there been a woman candidate with proven experience I would have given that my careful consideration (as would others)

    Does your intervention suggest that you would be voting just for the women candidates at the forthcoming NEC elections? If yes then that is good.

    But for all its worth I hope that a credible woman candidate is persuaded to stand at the next GS election. Linda Perks could be one?

  4. I don't see the point you saying you know how lambeth has dealt with women officers and not naming and shaming?? Thought that was why your block was diferent?

  5. Well I wasadvised by those close to me not to name anyone but I am still considering whether I should do it or not. I just don't think that Lambeth has a good record in how they have dealt with women Chief officers? From Chief Personnel Officers to 'others'.....

  6. Interesting that the United Left (according to Marsha's blog) are only backing women in 20 out of the 41 seats they are contesting. That doesn't seem to be 70% to me. And where they could have put up women candidates in general seats to help redress this they've only put up men.

  7. The United Left have actually put up men in every single seat they had a choice between standing men and women and could have influenced the gender composition of the NEC. Absolutely hopeless - and they wonder why don't women back them?