PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 01 | BUSINESS IS DONE BETTER TOGETHER
BLACK COUNTRY WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP LAUNCHES WITH GREAT INTEREST
BUSINESSWOMEN FROM ACROSS THE REGION GATHER FOR BLACK COUNTRY WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP, LAUNCHED BY THE CHAMBER TO COINCIDE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S THEME, BALANCE FOR BETTER.
Established to highlight the contribution of women in leadership roles make to business, promote role models for the next generation and support and inspire females in business aiming for future leadership roles.
The forum works to highlight the continuing gender pay gap, lobby for more flexible working practices and aims to promote diversity across the region.
Women in leadership are still in the minority, with a recent Fawcett Society report highlighting that the West Midlands economy is not working for the region’s female population. The gender employment gap at 12% is higher than in the UK.
The report, ‘Where Are the Women’, which was commissioned in association with West Midlands Women’s Voices, combines data analysis from the 2018 Gender Pay Gap Reports, commissioned public polling of the West Midlands Combined Authority region and best practice evidence.
Women who live in the West Midlands are far less likely than men to hold leadership roles - just 32% of women compared to 68% men.
The measure of pay in senior roles across the West Midlands also differs, for women the average take-home pay is £36,665 per annum, compared to men at £52,539.
In short, if women’s representation amongst the 187,000 senior leadership roles in the WMCA, was equal to men’s, and women were paid the same, women would stand to gain by £2.7 billion per year.
West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, has already thrown his backing behind the Chamber initiative stating, “It will help to inspire talent and it is vital that businesses embrace diversity of all kinds.”
Julie Cunningham, first female Chair of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce in its 160-year history said, “I am proud to be supporting this new initiative. We’ve had some amazing feedback from those who attended our first event. We must focus our energy on promoting the amazing women leaders we have in the Black Country region, encourage them to come forward as spokespeople, inspire the future generation and raise awareness of the obstacles we still incur including the gender pay gap.
“We have identified so many women in our region heading up some of the largest companies, councils, charities and centres of education, we want to shout about their work, highlight them as role models and mentor women coming through.”
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