2013 International Women’s Day - PwC highlights what can be done to help young women reach leadership positions

2013 International Women’s Day
  • New book reveals that millennial women will have 5 to 9 different careers

To mark International Women’s Day on Friday, 8 March 2013, PwC has supported a book about developing talented junior women for future leadership roles. The findings will be discussed at events in Dublin, London and New York.

The book Rising Stars - Developing Millennial Women as Leaders looks at what organisations can do to create the right environment for millennial women to flourish in the workplace.

Written by Dr. Elisabeth Kelan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King's College London, the book is unique in that it brings together gender, generation and leadership development to explore how these three areas work together – helping us to better understand how millennial women can be developed into leaders of tomorrow.

This complements other research carried out by PwC on millennials at work and diversity.

Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International, says:

“Diversity is a key issue for us, which is why we were keen to support Dr. Kelan’s research. We recruit a rich diversity of talent every year from schools and universities, including some very talented junior women. We want to think about what experiences those women need to get now so that they’re primed for leadership down the road.”

Speaking at the Irish launch in Dublin, Mary O’Hara, Reward Partner at PwC Ireland, said:

"At PwC Ireland, we believe that being focused on generational and gender diversity is a key enabler to companies developing a sustainable talent pipeline, full of talented men and women. By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce and so their career aspirations, attitudes about work and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st century workplace. So while most research and discussions on gender diversity focuses on women on Boards and at senior leadership levels, we believe that there is an equal, if not greater, need to focus on female talent early in their career. For this reason, we are keen to support International Women’s Day this year with the theme Gender, generation, and leadership: supporting the millennial woman craft her career. By shifting the conversation to include junior women, companies have the opportunity to create balanced leadership teams for the future".

Some highlights of the PwC-supported book ‘Rising Stars’, published by Palgrave Macmillan, include:

  • Networks are very important for career progression – but the solution isn’t to create women’s networks. Networks should include both men and women so they can learn from one other
  • Millennial women will on average have about five to nine different careers. It’s important for them to constantly adapt to the labour market and keep learning to update their skills
  • Feedback is very important to achieve this goal. Particularly ‘feeding forward’, which is information on how they can become better in the future
  • Organisations can do a great deal to change their culture to be more accommodating for millennial women. Much relates to unconscious bias. Only by making stereotypes visible, can organisations overcome them
  • Millennial women find it very important to have enough leisure time, yet in many organisations a long hours culture prevails
  • Many organisations don’t use technology to its full potential. Millennial women don’t understand why they are required to be in the office from nine to five and technology might just provide the solution to that


Notes for editors:

About Elisabeth Kelan:
Elisabeth Kelan, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King's College London. She has written numerous academic articles and two books. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch and her research was reported in the Financial Times, ABC News, Die Zeit and El País amongst others. She sits on the advisory boards of the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles and the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation. She is an associate editor of the journal Gender, Work and Organization and is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Management. She previously worked at London Business School and holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Talent is the new capital: PwC 2013 HR Director Pulse Survey. Click here to find out more.

Other notes to editors:

  1. Video clips about Rising Stars – Developing Millennial Women as Leaders, featuring Dr. Elisabeth Kelan, can be downloaded at press.pwc.com. To find out more about PwC’s IWD activities, visit www.pwc.com/IWD
  2. More thoughts on diversity can be found on PwC’s gender agenda blog at: pwc.blogs.com/gender_agenda
  3. To read PwC’s research on the millennials, click here

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