14 May 2018
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is set to become the first and largest public body to introduce a city-wide leadership scheme to tackle the shortage of women in senior positions and reduce the gender pay gap.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he was spearheading the women in leadership push – pairing high-potential women with both male and female senior staff members across London bodies – to give more women access to professional networks, opportunities and contacts needed to progress in an organisation.
“It is shameful that in 2018 women remain underrepresented at all levels of government and leadership roles,” he said.
“As a proud feminist, I want London to be a shining light in the fight for gender equality. I am pleased that we are showing the way, launching the first and biggest initiative like this in the public sector.”
The “Our Time: Supporting Future Leaders” programme will include the GLA, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), Transport for London (TfL), the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC).
Waltham Forest and Lambeth are the first councils to sign up to the scheme, with Khan confident others will follow.
“All of us must tackle inequality wherever we see it,” he said. “I want to encourage all industries across the capital to commit to addressing the shocking imbalance we still see in positions of power today through adopting this scheme.”
Unlike mentoring, the onus will not be on women to improve their skills, but on employers to ensure that women can move into the most senior positions, said a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office. A similar scheme at Sky resulted in an increase in women in senior leadership roles from 31% to 39% in two years.