A new report says that black women come off worse when applying for senior roles within business.
Cranfield University research revealed that candidates for jobs at board level are hired typically based on how they fit with the directors that are already in place. In many cases, they found that board directors are typically male male.
It went on to say that this is unfavourable towards women who have not had as many opportunities to secure high-level experience.
It saw specific problems that occurred in the latter recruitment stages.
Dr Elena Doldor, a senior researcher from the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders and the report’s leading author, said that recruiters tend to integrate diversity initiatives in the early appointment stages for such things as risk management jobs. However, this was not always applied for Board-level vacancies.
Dr Doldor said:
“It is at these later stages of the process that the focus appears to inadvertently shift from candidates’ actual competencies to the slippery notion of ‘fit’.”
The research was taken on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission which further revealed that diverse boards actually produced improved performances, as indicated by the deputy chair of the commission, Baroness Prosser. She added:
“However, the often subjective way appointments are made ends up replicating existing boards rather than bringing in the talented women who could bring real benefit to individual company performance and ultimately help Britain’s economic recovery.”
The Cranfield report on women in UK boardrooms is published twice yearly and were introduced in wake of the proposals made by Lord Davies in 2011.