According to a recent report by McKinsey, more than 75 percent of CEOs include gender equality in their top ten business priorities, but gender outcomes across the largest companies are not changing. In fact, their research goes on to indicate that “corporate America promotes men at 30 percent higher rates than women during their early career stages and that entry-level women are significantly more likely than men to have spent five or more years in the same role.”
So just how is independent consulting empowering women to not only take their rightful place at the boardroom table, but still allow them the control of their own work life balance?
Taking Back Control
"I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I wanted to work for me, answer to me and be my own boss, and I’ve never looked back" writes Julie Stewart, IPSE’s Chairman. In fact, in a recent study commissioned by IPSE, The Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed, it has been shown that 40% of the 1.88 million freelancers working in the UK are women. It was also found that there are 270,000 mothers working as freelancers, 100,000 more than what there were in 2008.
So what is the reason behind the closing gap of self-employed women in the UK? It would appear that the overarching reason is that women are wanting to take back the reigns of their personal career path. Women all over the world, are recognising the fact that they have highly sought-after expertise and skill which not only puts them on the top of the boardroom table agenda, but more so, gives them the power to determine their own career direction.
Work Life Balance
Many of the independent Talmix consultants that we have spoken to, echo the same thing. The choice for a more independent career was a result of trying to bring back balance within their lives. Some had started families, some wanted to focus on their passions outside of the workplace – but for almost all, they wanted to establish a flexible way to blend their passions with their expertise, without one dominating the other, while at the same time, still provide the consistently high levels of skill and experience that employers all over the world were trying to get their hands on.
For many women reaching a plateau in their careers, the option of the “What’s Next” often brings a daunting uncertainty that has many just stay where they are. In the case of many independent consultants that we have spoken to, one of the key reasons to explore a more flexible way of working has been the opportunity to diversify themselves and the value they offer. Independent working has provided opportunities for many self-employed women to diversify their skills, cross the aisle from one industry to another, apply their knowledge and skills to new markets – through a more managed, project-based approach. The perfect matrimony of client delivery, and self-growth.
So when one looks at the extensive gender and employment studies conducted by institutions like RBS, McKinsey and Prowess, one cannot be prouder of this rising global force of talented women who are not only delivering billions of extra pounds to global economy, but also bringing a diversity dividend as non-executive directors of companies, alongside new entrepreneurial attitudes to growth and sustainability. And it is for this reason, that Talmix wishes all our female independent consultants a prosperous International Women’s Day.
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