Coronavirus could be a game changer for working mothers

35 Women Under 35 video series: Does it take a pandemic for working mothers to get a break?

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 22 Apr 2020

Alexis Rose joined Accenture as a graduate in 2001 and powered up the ranks to become global inclusion and diversity director for Accenture Strategy. She also sponsors the company's Accent on Gender employee network within the UK practice, working towards its goal of achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2025, but admits there’s “still a long way to go” to equality in Britain’s boardrooms.

“The reality is that, even with all of our best efforts to provide equal opportunities on a daily basis in the workplace, there's still so much difference, particularly for working mothers," she says. "While we celebrate those women who have reached senior leadership positions, it's still relatively rare.”

"Unconscious bias still drives board decisions," adds Kate Surala, who joined The Analyst after studying law and finance at Oxford University and was promoted to partner when she was just 25. “The average perception of a successful leader is tall, white male in his 50s.”

In this video, the two former 35 Women Under 35 stars discuss the “shocking” excuses for not appointing women to FTSE company boards, how to be an authentic leader, and whether changing perceptions around flexible working could finally shift the dial for women.

Top three takeaways:

1. Too many companies still have a "one-and-done" approach to boardroom diversity.
2. Build your virtual village. Create a network of mentors, sponsors and peers who you can learn from and bounce ideas off.
3. Bring your whole self to work. The best way to be successful is to be authentic.

Management Today's annual 35 Women Under 35 showcases the country's rising stars in business. Here's how you can appear on this year's list. Deadline for nominations: Monday 11th May.

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