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International Women's Day 2020

Saturday 7 March 2020 11.45pm

Today is International Women’s Day (8th March 2020), celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness of gender bias and campaigning for gender equality. The mission behind the day is ‘To champion women of all backgrounds who dare to innovate, lead and uplift others towards a more equal and inclusive workplace’.

 There are now more women than ever in leadership roles in the UK women in management roles has risen to 37.2% and Hoople is supported by a senior management team  with seven out of nine being women.

 Human resources is already a very female dominated field, with over ¾ of HR managers being female, however there is still a noticeable gender pay gap within the sector.

Charlotte Ganderton, our Head of Hoople HR explains why it’s important to have a balance of genders in leadership roles:“I think when we work with people of different genders, as well as other diverse backgrounds, it helps us understand workplace issues and work better.  Female leaders can act as role models for others who wish to aspire and work towards progressing their career.”

 Compared to HR, ICT is a male dominated field, only 17% of people working within the UK’S ICT field are female. Alicia Dunsby, our Head of Architecture and Infrastructure, shares her thoughts on gender equality in leadership positions: “I work within a field where there’s not that many women in senior leadership positions. I’ve worked in the NHS and local government sector for the best part of 20 years now and feel that those sectors are more positive in having women in leadership roles than a lot of private companies. However, I’ve been in a leadership role for 15 of those years and do not feel that there are many more women in leadership roles than have always been in these sectors.”Alicia expressed her opinions on why it is important to have a balance of genders in leadership roles. “I think female senior leaders act as role models for other aspiring women in the workplace, to understand that it is possible to get into management roles, which can only be positive. Secondly, like with personality types, it provides a balance of skills, perspective and experience that is important at all layers of an organisation. It is generally true that women in leadership positions are less competitive and combative about their approach to leadership which provides a good balance to those who are. Women will offer a different way of thinking that can complement and enhance thinking within a company’s leadership.”

 Our Head of Transactional Finance, Theresa Shaw, is part of the 23% of people in financial leadership who are female. Here are her thoughts on why it is important to have a balance of genders in the workplace.” I think it is important to have a variety of talents, skills, experience and knowledge across all roles within a workplace and in my opinion a balance of genders definitely contributes positively to achieving this. A balance of genders within management also allows us to provide a more considered and balanced perspective and approach to all areas of business.” Theresa also believes that the public’s outlook on gender has helped to improve gender equality throughout her career. “I think the public profile of gender equality has changed over the years and as a result it is more acceptable to expect equal opportunities in all areas of our day to day lives.”

 In the UK 41% of women in employment are working part time, compared to only 19% of men. This is often due to childcare and the desire for a family. Charlotte believes that one of the main issues, leading to gender inequality in the work place, is how we encourage and support women when they start a family or reduce hours to part-time working. It is often the case that the responsibility to take time off to care for a sick child or in school holidays, often falls on women. Part-time women in the workplace can often feel they have not been considered, even with the simple things such as arranging meetings on the days they work so they can be included, or that customers/colleagues assume you are full-time.   From my experience, Hoople provides great support with workplace flexibility to help with managing work/home commitments such as hours, flexibility of working days etc.”

 Alicia also feels strongly about the need to encourage part time leadership roles.“Having had a child in the past five years, I was lucky enough to be able to work four days per week. Men typically do not have to make this choice, particularly at leadership level.  Women returning to work after having a child are often limited by the roles they can apply for if they want to work part-time to support a family.  I think it is time we should normalise requests for part-time roles filled by men as well as women, this could mean women wouldn’t have to limit their career progression due to their child care responsibilities.”

 The current gender pay gap in the UK is 17.3%, if we reduced this further we could see 800,000 more women working by 2025, adding billions of pounds into the UK’s economy. In order to improve gender equality further; Charlotte shares: as a society we need to look at how we encourage women to consider non-traditional careers such as STEM related roles through education at an early age, awareness, and role models to encourage females to aspire to be what they want to be.” Alicia adds that “It is important to educate our children; there is still huge gender bias in how we bring up our children and teach them. We need to teach our children that their gender should not limit their career aspirations.   Encouraging and sharing stories from role models from all sectors is a great start to break down perceived barriers.” Theresa’s thinks, “on a practical basis, through a fair and open recruitment process that encourages and supports diversity in all areas we can create a more equal balance in our workplace. But also by a continuing change in accepting that having a career and a family shouldn’t be about making a choice. It is about recognising the talents and skills of an individual and valuing them within an organisation and finding that balance.”

 Hoople has a large, varied portfolio of services with a balanced and diverse team at the helm. If you are interested in finding out about opportunities at Hoople, whether you are seeking work experience or interested in available roles, please contact



HM Treasury and John Glen MP. (2020). Policy paper Women in Finance Charter. Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.

Brigid Francis Devine Niamh Foley. (2020). Women and the Economy . Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.

Jenny Little. (2020). Ten years on why there are still so few women in tech. Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.

Karra Barron. (2020). The Great HR Divide: Part 1. Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.

Roger Smith. (2019). Gender Pay Gap In The UK: 2019. Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.

Grant Thornton. (2019). Women in management: Quicktake. Available: Last accessed 03/03/2020.