Why Your Start-Up C-Suite Needs Women

SELL: Creating C-Suite opportunities for female staff might feel like you’re paying DEI lip service or even wasting time, money and energy. Wrong! It’s crucial for your success…

Newsflash: There’s growing concern re a lack of women in key decision-making roles in our start-ups. Numbers are low in spite of the vast amount of talent out there. 

But Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is crucial in any start-up’s C-Suite to ensure the health and strength of your company.

Start-up experts Sifted.eu checked the data and compared C-Suite role gender diversity across the UK and Europe, such as Chief Human Resources Officers and Chief Marketing Officers. It was only in HR that women outnumber men in the ‘Chief’ role (85 percent of CHROs in start-ups are women). Female CMOs (the next-highest band) were at 40 percent and Chief Technical Officers were a dismally low 5 percent.

The main reasons for the female shortfall? Unconscious bias, a tendency to stick with past patterns, and a ‘leaky’ talent pipeline.

But trust me (and others): Women improve company culture. A McKinsey report from 2021 states: “The work women leaders are doing drives better outcomes for all employees.”* And as Peter Drucker put it: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. So, no matter how brilliant your strategy, your start-up needs a healthy culture – which means more women in your C-Suite!

This is where Talent Gateway can help. There are a number of root causes of the problem, including not pro-actively reaching out to talent and expecting adverts and careers site to provide a diverse talent pool, not choosing the right talent partners to work with who understand how to build a diverse pipeline of talent and relying on out-of-date channels to market i.e. not using social platforms.

Understanding People and Culture is crucial for organisational health. Wider pools of knowledge and experience can only strengthen a start-up.

My advice? Create time, space and budget for a C-Suite that holds women in it – across all types of roles. Plug in a talent acquisition partner; empower your CHRO to actively search for high-ranking women; and create a pipeline of female talent from the outset, and you’ll set yourself up for long-term stability and success.

Feel free to email me or call the office! I’m here to help you with your start-up success.


**  https://sifted.eu/articles/women-c-suite-roles/