CMIThe Chartered Management Institute (CMI) this week has launched CMI Women, a new initiative that aims to achieve gender parity across the UK’s management population by 2024, and to help employers unlock more value in the UK’s workforce to address our productivity gap.

The UK economy needs two million new management roles for it to achieve predicted growth. The launch of CMI Women aims to address this by helping employers identify the measures they can take to achieve gender balance, such as flexible working policies, line manager skills development, mentoring and balanced recruitment.

The problem for many organisations is the ‘missing middle’.  While women out-number men at junior levels, not enough make it through middle management and to the top. CMI’s 2016 National Management Salary Survey shows that while 73% of entry-level roles are occupied by women, this reduces to just 43% of women in middle management roles.

Recent research shows that gender-diverse management teams deliver an 18% Return on Investment premium [1] and diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform competitors [2]. Diversity could add $12 trillion annually to the global economy and £150 billion a year to the UK economy in 2025 [3].

To achieve a 50/50 split of management jobs between men and women by 2024, we will need 1.5m new female managers over the period [4]. Today there are over half a million ‘missing’ women from management. Unfortunately the future doesn’t currently look much better.  On today’s diversity forecasts we’ll still have 480,000 ‘missing women’ from UK management in 2024.

womenTo launch CMI Women, and address these issues, CMI has created a ‘Blueprint for Balance’, an innovative open source tool that helps organisations achieve 50/50 management.  The tool is a free online resource that allows employers to share information and learn from others the practices and policies that have helped improve gender balance in their organisations.

Ann Francke, CEO at CMI, said: “Unlocking the ‘missing middle’ of women managers is essential as UK businesses face up to the challenge of tackling the productivity gap that currently leaves us lagging 21% behind our G7 competitors. In the run up to Brexit we must do everything we can to support business growth to ensure the UK can stand alone, and it’s clear that women are still the primary untapped resource in the workplace.

Through CMI Women we will provide organisations with a Blueprint for Balance, while also enabling individuals to play their part in accelerating their own careers and supporting others to do the same. It is by working together in this way that we can find the solutions needed to find the 1.5 million extra women managers we’ll need by 2024 to achieve the gender balance that is critical for future UK business success.”

Heather Melville, chair of CMI Women and Director of Strategic Partnerships at RBS said: “1.5m new women managers is an ambitious target but one that UK employers can’t afford to miss.  It is essential for employers to do everything possible to achieve greater gender diversity across their management layers, not only for the benefit of women but also for the benefit of business productivity and the UK economy.  That is why we are urging employers to use the Blueprint for Balance tool to share learnings about how to make this happen.”

Join the conversation: @cmi_managers #cmiwomen


[1] Credit Suisse, The GS Gender 3000 (2014 and 2016)

[2] McKinsey, Diversity Matters (2015)

[3] McKinsey Global Institute and McKinsey & Company United Kingdom, The Power of Parity, 2015

[4] CMI Calculation

Photo at the top: Tackling gender imbalance: (L-R) Fiona Dawson, Emily Lawson, Chuck Stephens, Sam Smethers discuss the need for 50/50 management at the launch of CMI Women on Tuesday 29th November 2016. Photographed by Adam Warner