The Power Of Talent

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How to manage the female talent pipeline

Kirti Lad, Director of the Board Practice APAC and the co-lead of the Women's Directorship Programme, discusses the important of female talent retention and shares her advice on how to take action to manage the talent pipeline. 

A key issue for all firms is the retention of female talent - maintaining a strong pipeline is essential in order to make a change at board level in the future.

With many women choosing to opt out of the workforce at middle management level, companies need to take action to ensure the best and brightest female talent stays engaged. 

The diversity agenda needs to be led from the top, buy-in from senior management is essential. Engaging more male champions within every organisation is critical as they currently hold the power and wield the influence to make this change. These three steps are a good place to start:

1.Review Effectiveness - Companies benefit from the use of board assessments to help critically examine their board composition, ensuring effectiveness and business success.  This process can also be completed at a senior management team level to ensure the right people are in the right roles.

2.Hiring process - Hiring policies need to include balanced shortlists - including 30 per cent women at a minimum is a good start. If businesses are serious about improving the gender balance of their organisations, they need to ensure that interview panels are diverse, and include at least one senior woman. They need to understand that women have a tendency to under-sell their achievements and experience, whereas men may well over-sell theirs in order to get the job. 

3.Introduce development programmes - Continuous learning and development programmes for professional women help to keep them engaged in the workplace, resulting in a stronger talent pipeline. Initiatives such as internal mentoring, training, access to senior leaders, networking and career planning can make all the difference. 

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