Is the Gender Gap Narrowing in the UK?

As the Gender Gap Narrows in the UK, Integra People achieve equality at directorship level.

Last year, a government-backed review by Hampton-Alexander found that only one in three board positions at the UK’s biggest companies are held by a woman. This year’s report shows that over the last 12 months, the FTSE100 has recorded its largest annual increase in the representation of women at boardroom level and in senior leadership positions since the review began.

This report is reflected in smaller businesses like Integra People, a recruitment consultancy based in Birchwood, Warrington; were gender equality has been achieved at senior leadership level after Tracy Harding was appointed to Finance Director. Integra People have 6 positions at director level, 3 are held by men and 3 are held by women.

Managing Director of Integra People, David Lewis says “we are proud to be on the right side of history in a year that is a big step forward in achieving gender equality, as the UK progresses, Integra People are progressing too.”

The Global Gender Gap Index, published by the World Economic Forum in March 2021, analyses and ranks countries based on their economic participation and opportunity, education attainment, health and survival and tracks progress towards closing these gaps over time. Based on their findings, we can see that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact over gender equality over the last 12 months, creating and raising barriers to build inclusive and prosperous economies and societies. The United Kingdom has been ranked 23 out of 156 countries based on their Global Gender Gap Index. This is down from a rank position of 9 when the index first originated in 2006.

It is clear that the gender gap globally is narrowing, but at a slow rate, worsened by the pandemic. Areas that the UK are progressive in compared to other countries includes education attainment, in particular literacy rates and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education. The UK gender gap also prospers and benefits health and survival. In economic and political related areas, the UK, as many countries are behind in achieving gender equality.

The Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic forum published statistics recently revealing that during the pandemic, countries that are led by women handled coronavirus better by reacting more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities. This example of women in high power positions is at the very top, but businesses and economies can benefit from women in powerful positions, no matter the size of the business. Although the gender gap has progressed within the biggest UK industry businesses, there is little research into gender gaps at senior levels in smaller businesses.

Integra People was set up in 2008 by three men in the recruitment industry, these men became the managing director, operation director and sales director of the business. It was important to Managing Director, David Lewis, to hire and support females in the industry and within the business in order to succeed. A study by LinkedIn showed that 71% of talent professionals report that achieving gender parity at their company is a top priority. “We believe in offering opportunities to those who deserve the role, no matter their gender, background or age” – David Lewis, Managing Director.

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