December 1, 2016

Unconscious Bias is the Biggest Barrier to Achieving Gender Balance – Survey Reveals

Thomson Reuters Change Makers Summit reveals new insight to achieving gender balance on senior executive teams

LONDON A survey conducted at the Thomson Reuters Change Makers Summit in London revealed that 55 percent of attendees believe unconscious bias to be the biggest barrier to achieving gender balance on senior executive teams.

Other findings included:

  • 96 percent also believed that unconscious bias creeps in at recruitment levels and remains consistent to mid-level management
  • 83 percent believe firms should publish employee pay grades and pay bands
  • 71 percent think it will take 5-10 years before their organisation will realistically have a balanced representation in senior executive roles
  • 48 percent believe public scrutiny to be the biggest incentive or driver for firms to take action, followed by good business sense (33 percent) and internal pressure (19 percent)
  • 41 percent of attendees have, at some point in their careers, been a reluctant role model and/or spokesperson for gender balance
  • 100 percent believe that work practices need to change before full gender balance at the top of some sectors can be achieved

This survey, carried out anonymously, was conducted throughout the event to gather the views from an audience that included representatives from 56 global firms, with members from the UK Women in Finance Charter, the 30% Club and the London Women’s Forum, as well as various contributors to the Hampton-Alexander Review.

The Thomson Reuters Change Makers Summit, held on the 21st November, set out to galvanise action across industries to both address the lack of women in senior executive roles globally and focus on the development of the female talent pipeline. Panellists and attendees were asked to make a public commitment, on a personal scale and/or representing their firm, as to how they will support more balanced senior executive teams.

“Survey findings like these reveal the need for global businesses to make long-term, measurable commitments to gender balance if they are to be successful in the future,” said Susan Taylor Martin, president, Legal, Thomson Reuters. “The Thomson Reuters Change Makers Summit turns conversation into action by focusing individuals on what they can do, at both a personal level and organisational level, to drive change.”

Notes to the Editor:

Over 2016, Thomson Reuters has been directly involved with multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives. The Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index was launched in September, which ranks the top 100 publicly traded companies globally with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces. In April, Thomson Reuters signed the UK Women in Finance Charter, committing to publish progress on internal gender diversity targets annually.

Other awards and recognitions for Thomson Reuters include:

  • World’s Most Admired Companies (seventh consecutive year)
  • The Human Rights Campaign (fourth consecutive year)
  • Top Employers Accreditation
  • The Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers
  • Disability Equality Index
  • Glassdoor Best Places to Work
  • Anita Borg Institute, Top Companies for Women Technologists
  • Business Insider Best Companies for Women

Thomson Reuters

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Felice Tobin
Thomson Reuters
Tel: +44 (0)20 7542 7894

Tina Allen
PR Director, Asia Pacific and EMEA
Tel: + 44(0) 207 375 6814