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The glass ceiling within Internal Communications

courtyard-sky-smallIf I were to ask you about the gender balance of your company, would you want to explain why there are more men on your workforce? Would you want to tell me that there’s a lot of heavy lifting and dirt? OK, I’ll listen.

What if I asked about your Human Resources department? Would you scratch your head and admit that there seem to be a lot of women on that floor, and perhaps less dirt?

Now the big question; what’s the gender balance like within your Board?

Would it surprise you to learn that within the top 100 FTSE, few companies even come close to what you might expect to be a ‘balanced board room’, gender wise. The vast majority of our top companies are run by a majority of men.

I’d love more up-to-date data if you have any?

Now the top 100 companies tend to be established and owned by shareholders, so this has nothing to do with start-ups or by men ‘owning’ what they’ve created. This is all about recruitment, talent management and promotion. I’m saying that we’re recruiting men for board positions. There, I’ve said it, let the flames come!

An interesting question might be “does your head of Internal Communications sit on the Board?” but that’s only appropriate for larger companies, so it’s OK if the answer is ‘no’.

So are there gender imbalances within Internal Communications? What about within Corporate Communications? What about within Media Relations? If your Internal Comms department sites within Media Relations, how does that influence the roles and the people who take those roles? If your Internal Comms department sits within HR, how does that influence the gender make-up of the team? Do you find that HR is predominantly staffed by women? Is HR lead by women?

Do you ever worry, (and this is a worry, not an observation) that whenever gravitas is needed, a company wheels out a man? Do you ever worry that administrative tasks fall to women too often?

Would you like to let us all know where your Internal Comms dept. sits within your organisation? Do you feel Internal Comms is dominated by men or women?

[Wedge ♂ ]

(Oh this is such an old fashioned topic to discuss, I feel embarassed even bringing it up, but with top jobs continuing to go to men, don’t we have to talk about it?

Yes, yes, the word ‘gender’ is a psychological one, and within this subject we should be talking abou the ‘sex’ of a person – but I didn’t want the word ‘sex’ all over my blog, y’know how excited those spammers get…

Photo Credit: extranoise

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.