Are diversity initiatives a bull market luxury? A survey of top employers for women is a useful guide for any employee interested in top talent managers.
As the economic outlook for the UK generally darkens, companies are starting to look for operational cost efficiencies.
Corporate social responsibility and diversity can be the first casualties, acknowledges Glenda Stone, the founder and chief executive at Aurora.
So what difference does that make if you're not affected? Plenty, as this year's Aurora-Times Where Women Want to Work listing reveals. If employers are committed to nurturing and retaining talent women in the workplace, it speaks volumes about their employee development policies generally.
The listing marks out the leaders in talent managent. "At company level, measures such as flexible working and the provision of women's networks are becoming quite commonplace," says Stone. With that standardisation can come complacency, so companies that want to differentiate themselves need to innovate and stay ahead. This means being creative, not throwing loads of cash at people.
"Look at Deloitte, which won an award for its recruitment initiatives," says Stone. It takes a multi-channel approach to hiring and has relationships with organisations such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and charity Teach First so it can source and develop people from truly diverse backgrounds.
This kind of creativity separates the wheat from the chaff. Says Stone: "The top employers truly push the envelope and are continuously looking at how to extend their boundaries when it comes to talent management.
"It's like Warren Buffett says: when the tide goes out, you see who's swimming naked," says Stone. "The true market leader will prioritise talent management and retention, regardless of whether we're in a bull or bear market."
Special awards in the Aurora-Times top 50
|Best women's external recruitment initiative||Deloitte|
|Best women's retention initiative||Barclays Bank|
|Best women's training and development initiative||Morgan Stanley|
|Best women's internal corporate event||Accenture|
|Best women's case study||BAE Systems|