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CEOs suffering from ‘driver fatigue’ when it comes to gender diversity, warns KPMG

KPMG has launched an updated version of ‘Cracking the code’ – an analytical study into gender diversity conducted by KPMG, Why Women Work, YSC, and the 30% Club. The key finding from this year’s report is that CEOs are suffering from ‘driver fatigue’ when it comes to gender diversity.


Other findings of the report include:


  • Despite being on CEOs’ radars, gender diversity is not a top-rated priority, where none claim to have cracked the gender diversity code.


  • CEOs of multinational corporations are aware of global trends, including the socio-economic participation of women.


  • CEOs are rationalising the quantum of change they can achieve in their organisations.


Ingrid Waterfield, director in KPMG’s People Powered Performance team, commented, “Global CEOs are concerned that despite the efforts made, the proportion of women promoted at senior levels is plateauing.  To maintain the momentum of the proportion of women being promoted at these levels, CEOs need stronger support from shareholders and investors to solve the problem of gender diversity.


“CEOs need to take a two pronged approach, quantifying the impact of diversity, and identifying and tackling cultural issues across geographies to achieve change.  Targets without a culture of inclusion are unlikely to lead to progress.  Introducing more agile working, for example, can really embed a culture of inclusion and be of benefit to customers, business performance and employees.


“More progressive CEOs have invested resource to measure and track progress in gender diversity.  For progress to be made it is key that senior executives are as fluent in diversity performance as they are in financial performance, and ideally be able to explain the link between the two.  At the same time, senior executives need to be real cultural role models, and willing to intervene if male and female colleagues are treated inconsistently.  Without making executive teams jointly and individually accountable for sustaining progress on diversity, progress is likely to slow down, or even halt.”



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