Closing the Gender Gap:

Focused training and support help female Managers move to the next level

gender parity
Company name:
(not disclosed)
Professional Services
Europe & Central Asia
United Kingdom
(not disclosed)
Contact Position:
Senior Manager, Global Diversity
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: middle management level

In 2007, there were broadly similar percentages of female (46%) and male (54%) Managers. However, there was a greater disparity at the next level of Senior Manager – 32% female and 68% male. This indicated the need to focus on our female Manager population to enable them to progress.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Mentorship & training

Initiated by the senior leadership of the firm, this practice aims to find solutions to some potential barriers to female Managers' career progression, particularly barriers relating to impact, leadership, networking and career management. A 2-day course focuses on developing these capabilities, and is followed by 3 months of support to deliver against agreed goals and aspirations. 

The programme is facilitated by Aspire, an external partner chosen because of their significant experience in coaching and facilitating women's leadership development. Our trained internal coaches also support each programme which is sponsored by a partner and includes sessions with senior female role models.


Quantitative metrics include: 

  • number of attendees
  • impact on performance ratings
  • impact on promotions 

Qualitative feedback is also collated to identify opportunities to develop the programme.

Implementation Date:

Since 2008, over 400 female Managers have self selected to take part in the three months programme. The 2012 timetable is currently being finalised with female Managers already signed up for the events taking place in the first quarter of the year.

The Success:

  • 37% of attendees saw an increase in performance ratings, compared to 27% of those not participating
  • 32% have been promoted, compared to 22% who have not taken part
  • 20% of maternity returners have been promoted, compared to 17% of maternity returners who had not taken part

Success factors:

  1. Board level support for the programme
  2. Involvement of senior female role models
  3. Collaborative, inclusive environment developed during the programme


  1. Some historic resistance to female only development programmes
  2. Budget constraints


Career Development|Coaching / Mentoring|Education|Feedback|Leadership Support|Networking|Partnerships|Performance Management|Individual Support|Talent Management

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