WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: Where are the female leaders?

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Statistically, women in Poland are better educated than men. They can also boast highly developed soft skills. But there is still much work to be done on the equality of women and men in the labor market as there is a significant difference between the amount of men and women leaders. What’s more, employers can benefit from a diverse workforce, as it has been proven time and time again that a diverse workforce attracts and retains the best talent.

Few women hold a board seat in Poland and a significant number of respondents who participated in our Gender Diversity report stated that the highest position held in their company was occupied by a man. This is a trend that also filters down to management positions, with 59 percent of respondents stating that their manager was male. Despite this, there are mostly female-oriented teams in the workplace, which leads to ask the the question: where are the female leaders?

According to our Poland Gender Diversity study, the workplace does not help to promote or develop women and must do more to ensure that women are supported and encouraged throughout their careers. The lack of support and encouragement in the workplace can negatively affect women’s self-confidence and makes them less likely to apply for high positions that naturally involve risk-taking. Adding to this, the lack of representation of women in leadership positions in the workplace can also affect ambition levels and confidence.

It is not surprising then that the results of our survey showed that women are less frequently noticed
than their peers, are less willing to take on a challenge and many more tend to diminish their own
competencies and merit. What’s more, the vast majority of women face professional difficulties in balancing their work and family responsibilities. Women are lagging behind in the workplace as the labor market remains unchanged in terms of equality of opportunity and promotion of men and women.

Promisingly, however, employers are increasingly eager to look for solutions that support professional
development. They know that in the candidate-led marketing we are seeing now in Poland, providing
the optimum working and development environment requires special attention. Companies also know that they are responsible for creating a diverse workforce as diversity policies embedded in organizational culture translates into greater business efficiency and fosters organizational growth. Nevertheless, companies need to do more to tackle the gender imbalance in the workplace and to promote women to senior positions.

It is important that companies and workers start to ask the question: where are the female leaders? Only once this issue is raised, can companies start to work on narrowing the gender divide that is too often seen in leadership positions. However, it is positive that we see companies contribute to building a more gender diverse workforce through their gender diversity policies and initiatives.



Charles Carnall is the Managing
Director at Hays Poland

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