Sky’s Women in Leadership programme to achieve a 50/50 split in the top 400 employees in the company, which was launched by Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch two years ago, is on track to deliver results – with women in leadership roles now standing at 38%.
Sky have made fundamental changes to it’s business to reach its targets. Key initiatives include:
- Getting executive sponsors, including all Sky directors, for over 350 women with high potential talent to support them into management roles.
- Supporting parents through the transition to working parenthood through workshops and webinars and a ‘My Family Care’ programme which offers 6 free emergency care sessions (childcare, adult/elder care or school holiday cover).
- Rewriting all job descriptions, based on research on how men & women react to terminology, to ensure they appeal to both sexes, instituted 50/50 balanced shortlists and interview panels are tracked and holds recruitment events specifically to attract women.
- Launching a skills initiative to provide free software training to 100 women per year with no prior technical experience through its Get Into Tech programme. The initiative was launched in recognition of the significant lack of gender diversity in the technology industry, and the fact that women are being put off careers in STEM because of pressures of family life combined with ‘biases’ in the workplace.
The results have been positive with 69% of vacancies were filled by women in the last fiscal year and 83% of vacancies had a gender balanced shortlist. In addition, attrition on the sponsorship programme has been 5 times lower than the company average, 1/3 of women have been promoted or moved sideways since launch and 70% of participants now say that because of the programme they would be more likely to take a role outside of their comfort zone.
As a result of this, Sky won the ‘overall top employer’ and the ‘top employer award for career progression’ at the 2016 Workingmums.co.uk awards.
CEO Jeremy Darroch said: “Over the past 18 months we have placed a real focus on gender equality in our organisation, through our Women in Leadership programme. Today, 38% of our top 350 leaders are women – We plan to get that figure to 50% in the next few years and we have a strong plan to get there. The mandatory 50/50 interview shortlists and unconscious bias training we’ve introduced are forcing our recruiters to work harder to find the men and women who are best suited for each job. But most importantly the programme has forced us to confront the status quo, appreciate its limitations, and seek something better.”