Most businesses want to attract female and diverse talent at leadership level. But are they doing enough to nurture and retain senior women?
Often, it’s only when a senior woman resigns that you see organisations jump into action and so everything to persuade them to stay.
The LSE and Mastercard Inclusion Initiative, which interviewed black women in finance, professional services, and technology, discovered organisations are increasingly using counter offers to retain talent. 14 of the 32 women who resigned from their roles were presented with monetary offers to stay.
We concur: Every single senior female candidate we placed has then received a counter offer from their existing employer. Significantly, female candidates themselves are more likely to entertain a responding pay rise. They often have a strong sense of loyalty and integrity, which causes them to give their current organisation a second chance.
Organisations must better nurture current and future female leaders to achieve gender balance in the boardroom. Current employers must focus on supporting and developing them and, if they’re not, women shouldn’t turn down promising opportunities to stay. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. We have seen some extremely talented candidates decline career-changing job offers.
Our experience is that senior talent leaves an organisation because of corporate culture, not feeling valued, or not being given the right opportunities; it’s rarely down to salary alone. Offering a financial reward to stay seldom addresses the underlying issues. 80% of candidates who accept a counter offer from their current employer end up leaving within six months anyway (Phaidon International Research).
What we’re beginning to see is a divide in the way that senior women are recruited versus the way they are promoted and rewarded, all within the same organisation.
Demand for female and D&I talent remains high, even more so at senior levels. Real estate firms recruiting for positions are increasingly demanding diverse shortlists, so we will see more competition to recruit and retain female talent. Counter offers for women will become more prevalent as approaches from competitors rise.
We have a perfect storm brewing: a cohort of senior, valuable female talent that has been overlooked within an industry where there is now tremendous demand for them.
 ‘Transparent: Creating Organisations Inclusive of Black Women in Finance, Professional Services and Big Technology.’