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Why Gender Equality is Key for Economic Growth

|4/4| To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re releasing new blogs every week this month from Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder, sharing her decades of experience in equality and diversity training in the business world. 

At Surrey Business School we’re passionate about advancing female candidates with the MBA Women in Business Scholarship, covering between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee awarded on a rolling basis. 

Statistics show that women are more likely to be employed in low paid/part-time work and are likely to have less financial asset. Yet, women-led businesses are increasingly becoming the driving force of the UK economy.

New research by Founders4Schools shows that there are 762 women-led companies which have revenues between £1m-£250m and are expanding at a median growth rate of 30% a year, 453 are growing by 20% or more and 281 are growing by 50% or more. The total revenues they together accounted for increased by nearly £2 billion from the last year which was a median annual revenue increase per woman-led company of £900,000.

It is delightful to see women making such a major contribution to the growth of the British economy; they are shattering stereotypes and glass ceilings that shouldn’t have even existed in the first place.

Even though the UK has fallen to 9th place last year in terms of female board representation percentages in Europe, it seems that the UK is becoming the best place in the world for female entrepreneurs to further their business ventures.

Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder

Diversity quotas and true equality in business?

|3/4| To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re releasing new blogs every week this month  from Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder, sharing her decades of experience in equality and diversity training in the business world. 

At Surrey Business School we’re passionate about advancing female candidates with the MBA Women in Business Scholarship, covering between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee awarded on a rolling basis. 

In an ideal world, there would be no need for diversity quotas but sadly, we still live in a society that requires them. That’s not to say progress isn’t being made. We are living in the most progressive society there has ever been where women and those of an ethnic background have never before held such strong positions in many areas of society.

Organisations across the world are placing more emphasis on making their workforce more equal and diverse than ever before. However, in terms of gender, the pay gap between men and women currently stands at around 18% in the UK and Deloitte have revealed that the Gender Pay Gap won’t be closed until 2069. The UK also fell to 9th place last year in terms of female board representation percentages in Europe.

Furthermore, despite 11% of Britain’s 30 million workforce now being from an ethnic minority (that figure rising from 4% from 20 years ago), research has suggested that there is a 23% hourly pay gap between BAME graduates and their white counterparts.

There is still a huge disparity in pay from both a gender and an ethnicity perspective and in order to overcome these imbalances and quicken the attainment of true equality, quotas are a necessity.

Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder

New Report: ‘UK Digital Transformation Strategy’

UK GOVERNMENT ‘DIGITAL REBOOT’: THE END OF THE BEGINNING?

By Surrey Business School’s CoDE (Centre for the Digital Economy)

The last few weeks have seen the release of a flurry of new documents aimed at stimulating the digital economy and accelerating adoption of digital technologies. Discussion within and across government has resulted in a series of new digital government initiatives – not just the aims, ambitions and methods for the UK’s economy, but also how the government itself will transform. Three documents form the heart of this “reboot” for digital transformation in the UK: The UK Digital Strategy, the UK government transformation strategy, and the Digital Economy Bill.

Find out here what you need to know about the Government’s latest digital agenda in Professor Alan Browns (Founder of CoDE) report on ‘UK Digital Transformation Strategy’. Which sectors, issues and focus areas are influencing the government’s approach, and forcing its hand? How will the government attempt to re-define its own business model? Government’s ability to understand, arbitrate, and regulate is being severely tested; what could this mean for personal data rights? We’re poised on the figurative border between dystopian vision and economic prosperity; the better we understand how digital is shaping the future, the more the choice between the two will remain in our hands.

International Women’s Day at Surrey Business School

cath-bishop-iwd-eventcath-bishop-2

Last night Surrey Business School and Surrey Chambers of Commerce joined together to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), inviting a panel of inspirational female speakers on campus, to share their stories and answer questions from a packed audience.  

Among the speakers was Surrey Business School’s Advisory Board member, Cath Bishop former Olympic rower and diplomat, sharing her experiences on equality and leadership.

Cath commented: ”It was great to be involved in the International Women’s Day event today which Surrey Business School and Surrey Chambers of Commerce put on.  We heard so many different tales of inspiration and being bold in a world where women are still fighting for equality in different ways. 

The motto for International Women’s Day this year is #Be Bold for Change – and we heard so many different interpretations of what being bold can mean in a variety of contexts.  It’s not just about equality for women alone, it’s about equality more widely, and about setting the right sort of organisational cultures that allow everyone to thrive, rather than play to the strengths of just a few. 

So it’s about challenging assumptions, thinking differently and speaking out with new ideas and new ways of thinking.”

cath-bishop

Cath also shared some advice on leading your own business: When it comes to leadership in business, establish as much clarity as you can about what the purpose of your business is and your passion for it, develop strong networks of collaboration, and don’t stop learning, embracing failure along the way as an essential part of learning – in short, be bold, be smart, make things happen!”

At Surrey Business School we are incredibly proud to champion real progress for women as leaders in business.

Find out more about the Surrey MBA and our specific Women in Business ScholarshipScholarships can cover between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee and will be awarded on a rolling basis.

 

Female Business Owners and Unconcsious Bias

|2/4| To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re releasing new blogs every week this month  from Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder, sharing her decades of experience in equality and diversity training in the business world. 

At Surrey Business School we’re passionate about advancing female candidates with the MBA Women in Business Scholarship, covering between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee awarded on a rolling basis. 

Social and cultural norms have created male and female archetypes where gender equality falls short. Misconceived preconceptions, compounded by unconscious bias result in stereotyping and sexism, meaning women are often held to far different standards than men.

This is noticelikableably evident with regard to female business owners and entrepreneurs. A study conducted by New Republic, where participants were asked to evaluate a mixture of entrepreneurial pitches and were told that women led some ventures and men others, proved most insightful.

They found that, when considering pitches of run-of-the-mill business ideas, participants rated women-led ones as generally less viable and less investment-worthy than those spearheaded by men. It was also discovered that participants penalised women entrepreneurs because they systematically perceived them to be less competent or skilled than their male counterparts, not because they thought they were any less committed to their venture or any less likeable.

If a truly level playing field is to ever be achieved for female business owners, it is fundamentally essential that the hurdles of Unconscious Bias, Stereotyping and Sexism must be overcome. These obstacles are still ingrained within our society if we want to see more successful women such as Jo Malone, Karren Brady, and Cath Kidston to succeed in business.

Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder

Will Brexit shrink or widen the gender pay gap?

|1/4| To celebrate International Women’s Day we’re releasing new blogs every week this month  from Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder, sharing her decades of experience in equality and diversity training in the business world. 

At Surrey Business School we’re passionate about advancing female candidates with the MBA Women in Business Scholarship, covering between 10 – 50% of the total tuition fee awarded on a rolling basis. 

With the UK opting for leaving the European Union, prospects for gender equality and shrinking the gender pay gap have been thrown into uncertainty.

The EU has been a force for good in the pursuit of gender equality through a pltheora of policies promoting equal pay for work of equal value, minimum maternity guarantees and the prevention of discrimination on grounds of gender.

It was due to EU pressure that the UK introduced domestic policies to aid the pursuit of gender equality and there are no assurances that these mesures won’t be reversed. However, with a female Prime Minister at the helm of the country, one would hope that no reversals do occur.

The one way in which women could benefit from Brexit is that, because Britain may now have restricted access to foreign talent, employers will recruit British women into the workforce to adress the shortfall.

However, will this be able to subsidise for the loss of benefits form the European Commissions recent ‘Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality: 2016-2019 plan which they’ve allocated a budget of €6.17bn to? When Article 50 is enacted, Britain will no longer have access to such sizeable funding which is concerning.

Although it is too early to make any educated predictions, there is a chance that Britain will become complacent with gender equality post-Brexit, meaning progress in shrinking the gender pay gap will be hindered.

 

Kasmin Cooney (OBE) Righttrack Consultancy founder

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