A blueprint for balance: time to fix the broken windows

Image of Blueprint for balance report cover
Document type
Vontz, Maureen, Chung, Heejung, Dennehy, Jane
Chartered Management Institute
Date of publication
19 January 2018
People management: all aspects of managing people, Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Business and management
Material type

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This report looks at what employers are doing to achieve better gender balance and support women throughout their careers. It is based on a survey of 856 managers, 53 in-depth interviews and 17 employer good practice conversations conducted in 2017. Although many employers are starting to achieve real change, it finds that much more remains to be done.

Key findings include:

  • 81% of survey respondents said they had seen sexist or biased behaviours.
  • Although overt discrimination has not completely disappeared, the most common challenge is behaviours based on assumptions about working life or the qualities required to succeed in leadership roles, which reflect masculine values and men's life situations.
  • The most common driver for organisations focusing on gender balance is attracting and retaining the best talent.
  • Line managers play a pivotal role in changing behaviour and creating balanced workplaces.
  • Senior leadership support is essential to achieving change.
  • Companies like Sky and Virgin Money have set targets for gender balance and track and report progress openly, but only 27% of managers said their organisation has clear targets for gender balance.


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