Women’s networking group AllBright has joined with corporate partners, including HSBC, BNY Mellon and Chelsea FC Women, to create AllBright Alliance, a global collective of businesses committed to driving change for women in the workplace.
The alliance was launched with the aim of providing members with frameworks to support and advance women in their workforces, including workshops and events, mentoring opportunities and leadership training. Other founding partners were Eldridge, Simba Sleep, Northern Bloc, and Visionable Healthcare.
All founding partners have committed to once a year sharing best practice and learnings from the programme so far.
The launch followed McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report for 2022, which highlighted that women were at a greater risk of downshifting or leaving their careers than prior to the pandemic, the pressures of childcare responsibilities, as well as the disproportionate barriers facing black women.
Meanwhile, according to Fawcett Society, women make up just 8% of FTSE100 CEOs. At the current rate of progress, the World Economic Forum predicted it would take 132 years to close the global gender gap.
Viviane Paxinos, CEO of AllBright, said: “There’s a clear and urgent need for change, and a huge opportunity for organisations to step up and transform their businesses to drive progress towards equity faster. Now is the time to act to make work, work for all women, regardless of age, stage, race or profession. This is not just good for all women, it’s good for business.”
Paxinos said that gender equality practices were proven to increase productivity and profitability for businesses.
She added: “That’s why AllBright has created the Alliance to support better recruitment, retention and progression and ultimately drives business success.
“We are delighted to announce the seven founding partners of the AllBright Alliance. They are joining a movement of organisations whose mission is to find a solution to the challenges faced by women in the workplace.
“We’re looking forward to working with all the founding partners to provide the tools and networks needed to create the next generation of female leaders.”
Todd Boehly, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eldridge, said: “Eldridge is proud to be a founding member of the AllBright Alliance, and we are committed to supporting their growth as they continue to champion women.”
Allan Leighton, deputy chair of Visionable Healthcare and chair of Northern Bloc and Simba Sleep, added: ”Although there has been good progress on gender equality we fundamentally believe that by joining the AllBright Alliance, together we can speed that up.
“We hope to send a powerful message to our female colleagues that we are invested in them and we’re committed to seeing them thrive.”
When Benefits Expert asked how the alliance would ensure that women from all backgrounds would benefit from its work, a spokesperson explained that it would be data-driven and accountable, with member businesses expected to join intersectional bi-annual round-tables.
The spokesperson said: “There’s clearly a huge need to make sure that ALL women – regardless of their age, stage, background or ethnicity get tailored support in workplace.
“We are still missing over 560,000 female managers and 100,000 people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, 290,000 with disabilities and 420,000 from lower socio-economic backgrounds, according to The Chartered Management Institute’s recent Everyone Economy report. Combining intention with data and accountability will ensure an intersectional approach to any action taken.”
They added: “AllBright has built a global community of over 500,000 and that group is incredibly diverse; and that’s reflected in our learning programmes, courses and tailored support packages that businesses gain access to through membership of AllBright Alliance. What’s more, 5% of AllBright Alliance revenue will go to supporting philanthropic causes and charities that support women and girls, like SmartWorks.”
In terms of employee benefits, AllBright Alliance said employers’ policy changes should be driven by data and insights. To this end, members will have access to an exclusive whitepaper, focusing on the key priorities for supporting women in the workplace.
The spokesperson told Benefits Expert: “This is also where the collective approach helps as, through the roundtables and meetings between members, we’ll be unleashing knowledge-sharing between businesses and helping them to really focus on the policy changes that drive results for women.
“Let’s not forget that the outcome of this will benefit everyone; many men still feel the need to lie to their employers in order to get the balance they need to spend time with their children.
“Wellbeing is also an important part of this conversation. In AllBright’s recent Future of Work report, we saw interconnected areas of stress, work-life balance and burnout as the biggest professional challenges women face currently.”