Helen Green

The Diversity Conundrum

They say you can prove anything with statistics, but two very interesting sets have come to my attention in the last few days. The first was from UK University applications body (UKAS), analysing the autumn 2015 university entrants. With record numbers entering university, one key figure which stood out was that women are now 35% more likely to go to university than men.

Whilst an imbalance such as this requires further investigation, if statistics such as these translate into the workforce and onwards into leadership then in time we should see a boost to diversity in the workplace. And there are some professions which seemingly would benefit from an increased level of attention to diversity; particularly if a report from the USA is anything to go by.

A study published in the BMJ reveals that although there is roughly a 50-50 split between men and women entering medicine, when it comes to the higher echelons the odds still favour men. In fact, the report’s authors conclude that there are significantly more men with moustaches than women in academic medical leadership positions in the top American medical schools.

It’s a statistic which may make us smile but it is one with a serious purpose. Diversity and true equality in the workforce will not happen until there is a true measure of diversity in the top echelons of leadership.