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Pay-TV broadcaster Sky has found that having a beauty salon – and a Waitrose supermarket – located in its west London headquarters makes a significant difference for the busy women who work there. Companies around the world have found that small tweaks like these, and large strategic decisions, are all vital parts of their efforts to improve the gender balance among their senior staff.In the UK, a target-based approach has resulted in more women serving as non-executive directors, but companies are still struggling to recruit female senior executives. One FTSE 100 company, ConvaTec, has an all male board as do seven FTSE 250 companies.The Financial Times looked closely at corporate diversity programmes and found that one thing unites those companies that are making progress towards gender equality at the top of their workforces. In the UK the percentage falls to 21 per cent and to just 12 per cent in the management ranks.Siemens' internal target in the UK is to raise the percentage of women in senior positions to mirror that of the wider workforce.Indeed, at Siemens, the headline numbers on gender diversity are still going in the wrong direction.Chief executive Jeremy Darroch's Women in Leadership programme, launched in 2014, aims for a 50/50 gender balance among Sky's 400 most senior employees, out of a total staff of 30,000, although no firm deadline has been set.Since Sky's programme started in 2014, the percentage of women in the top 400 roles has risen from 31 to 40 per cent.
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