Closing the Gender Gap:

Action plans to improve gender balance locally

gender parity
Company name:
(not disclosed)
Agriculture, Food & Beverage
More than 50,000
Europe & Central Asia
(not disclosed)
Contact Position:
Head of Diversity
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: senior management level

Faced with a culturally and historically determined gender gap in our firm's senior management, we implemented a number of practices designed to build a sustainable, gender-balanced talent pool for the future and improve the work life of all our employees.

One of these practices focuses on raising the awareness for gender balance issues on local market management committees.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Awareness, incentives & accountability

This company has not introduced quotas to advance women, not does the company plan to do so in future, as we believe we have in place the necessary mechanisms to track, monitor and improve the situation. Merit and competencies are the basis for promotion.

While actual interventions need to occur locally, in the specific historical and cultural context that exists in a country, we rolled out gender balance awareness trainings top-down, from the CEO, through executive board members with their direct reports, in markets with first the market leadership team, and then line management. We offered training to all management comittees around the world as well as to all senior managers at the centre, preferably with their executive board members. 

Trainings offer guidance for focusing on measures that would improve the work life of all while raising awareness for the differing gender dynamics that determine women's and men's work life cycle and career paths. They focus on:

  1. The business case, why is this key to our company
  2. The differences between men and women, in communication and leadership styles, and how this leads to better business decisions
  3. Building an action plan

After these trainings, action plans for execution on these firm priorities are created locally. An annual review of these plans ensures that this issue stays top of our agendas globally.

While the gap is not the same in all locations, our global application of this practice ensures a shared understanding of the firm's priorities and ensures work life improvements for all our employees.


  • Number of management committees trained
  • Number of senior managers trained

Implementation Date:

Ongoing, never to end, the key is to drive ongoing awareness, there will always be new starters, people being promoted, etc.

The Success:

Action plans have been created for all our markets and businesses and we continue to monitor them.

Success factors:

  1. Executive board support
  2. Local market leadership support
  3. Business ownership


  1. This is not a HR issue
  2. Time on the agenda


Awareness|Education|Leadership Support|Monitoring|Reporting & Accountability|Talent Management|Work Arrangements
Similar practices Country

Challenging the 'rules of the game'

Company: (not disclosed)

Type of Gap: senior management level

Type of practice: Mentorship & training

All senior women were matched to a key senior mentor as part of a corporate mentoring scheme. 



Strengthening the pipeline to partnership

Company: Deloitte & Touche

Type of Gap: senior management level

Type of practice: Measurement & target setting

Intensified talent management is combined with work-life balance measures to retain women on their way to the top.

South Africa

Celebrating role models to raise women's ambitions for moving up

Company: Barclays PLC

Type of Gap: senior management level

Type of practice: Leadership & company commitment

To increase the number of women in senior management, we have developed an yearly awards campaign designed to raise awareness and women's confidence.

United Kingdom

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