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08 March 2017

We are on the cusp of an escalating fight for female talent. Is your organisation prepared?

Did you know we’re seeing a tidal wave of organisations across the world injecting greater urgency into their efforts to tackle gender imbalances in the workplace? In fact, 87% of CEOs across the world are now focused on talent diversity and inclusion, up from 64% just two years ago. And explicit hiring targets have emerged as a core driver in fulfilling these ambitions with 78% of large organisations telling us they’re actively seeking to hire more women – especially into more experienced and senior level positions.

As organisations fight to attract female talent – particularly at levels and in sectors where they’re currently underrepresented – we’re now seeing competition for female talent escalate to a whole new level.

Is your organisation prepared to respond to this fight for female talent?

This Wednesday, 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) will be celebrated across the globe. At PwC we are marking the event by releasing our Winning the fight for female talent research paper. With a view to finding out more about the career aspirations and diversity experiences and expectations of the contemporary worker, we surveyed almost 4,800 professionals – including 3,934 women – in over 70 countries. In parallel, we also elicited the views of 328 executives with responsibility for diversity, HR or recruitment to explore the current diversity practices and trends across organisational employer brand, attraction and selection activities. IWD2017

Here are eight positive research findings revealed in our Winning the fight for female talent report.

  1. Organisations are very focused on finding and attracting female talent. Eighty percent of organisations have aligned their diversity and recruitment strategies and 78% of large organisations are actively trying to hire more women.
  1. The efforts invested by organisations are achieving results, 71% of employers who said they’d adopted diversity practices said these were having a positive impact on their recruitment efforts, by way of increased levels of female applicants and female hires.
  1. Men and women want the same things. Opportunities for career progression, competitive pay and a culture of work-life balance come out as the three most attractive employer traits for both men and women.
  1. Women today, want much more from their careers. Female career starters and female millennials rank opportunities for career progression as their most attractive employer trait. And experienced female professions who had recently changed employers, said the top reason they left their former employer was because of a lack of opportunities for career progression.
  1. Organisations are focused on embedding diversity in their employer brand, 76% of organisations said they’ve done this, rising to 88% for large organisations. But it will be critical they do more than just talk about diversity.
  1. Women want organisations to WALK their diversity talk. When deciding whether to work for an employer, 56% of women said it was important to them that the employer publicly shares its progress on diversity, for example increased levels of workforce or leadership diversity.
  1. Women want to see what they can be. When deciding to accept their most recent position 67% of women explored if they felt the organisation has positive role models similar to themselves, and for female career starter this figure rises to 76%.
  1. Two thirds of women said they negotiated with their employer on salary when accepting their most recent position, and 37% were successful in increasing the initial salary offer (67% and 39% for men).

While there are certainly lots of positive messages to be celebrated the report also highlights that there remains a lot for organisations to do to achieve the diversity edge through gender inclusive recruitment.

We’d like to invite you to find out more by visiting www.pwc.com/femaletalent where you can download the full report or an interactive executive summary.


Aoife Flood, PwC Based in Dublin, Ireland, Aoife Flood is Senior Manager of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Programme Office for PwC with responsibility for the development and implementation of our network-wide global Diversity & Inclusion strategy.

She is a proud PwC female millennial and lead researcher and author of our ‘Winning the fight for female talent’, ‘Moving women with purpose: Creating gender inclusive global mobility’, ‘The female millennial: A new era of talent’, and 'The PwC diversity journey: Creating impact, achieving results’.

Aoife is also co-author of our Global Gender Agenda blog. You can learn more about Aoife here or find her on twitter: @AoifeRFlood.


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