Recently ADS Member Boyden published a report entitled “Furthering Female Leadership”, looking to accelerate diversity in leadership.

Boyden is a leadership consulting firm that helps organisations achieve business, social or investment goals through executive leadership. Representing several areas, including aerospace and defence as well as wider manufacturing, Boyden has a proven track record with the sectors to connect clients with innovative business leaders, understand business challenges and work with government and regulatory bodies to deliver results.

Diversity and inclusion has been at the forefront of the Aerospace sector with the launch of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter at Farnborough International Airshow, as well as the Defence industry, as demonstrated by the new  Royal Air Force breaking down gender stereotypes advertisement campaign. However, there is a great gender imbalance not just in our industries but also more widely, often because even at the school age, girls are discouraged from working in engineering and organisations lack a pipeline to see talented women into leadership positions.

What’s the problem?

Boyden’s report identified that social environment factors makes combining work and family difficult for women across Europe. Further to this, the culture of an organisation also acts as obstacles to a leadership career, these can include male-dominated environments and old-school management styles.

A female Group HR Director from the UK quoted in Boyden’s report said:

“The male-dominated environment means there’s a perception that if you are working weekends you are working harder. I had to take a step back when told I wasn’t motivated now I have a family.”

Why increase female leadership?

Boyden identified that female leaders are a vital element in achieving future growth, new ways of thinking and new ways of working. In short, women are good for business.

Among Fortune’s Worlds Most Admired Companies, those with more female leaders have been shown to be more creative and have a higher status in Fortune’s index.

Further to this, the more visible women are, the more women aspire to leadership and see it as an achievable goal; 29 per cent of board positions are held by women in companies with a female CEO versus 15 per cent overall.

What can be done?

Societal and organisational barriers can be hard to overcome, but Boyden have identified what can be done to make the workplace more inclusive to women; the key word is support.

  • Having a supportive boss
  • A supportive environment
  • And strong networks – relationships matter

ADS alongside other signatories of the Women in Aviation Charter also identified ways to get more women into the aviation and aerospace sector which you can read here.

Boyden will be presenting their research findings at the Association for Project Management’s International Women’s Day London event on the 7 March 2019.

If you would like to learn more about Boyden, their initiatives, events and solutions then please don’t hesitate to contact Guy Herbertson, Global Co-Leader for Aerospace & Defence.