Female business leaders of the future still need to be nurtured, despite positive progress

Founder & CEO of Platinum Wave Franchising Suzie McCafferty

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Founder & CEO of Platinum Wave Franchising Suzie McCafferty discusses the development of women in leadership roles

LATEST research shows that we are seeing more women in leadership roles and even greater numbers are starting new businesses.

According to the Rose Review, in the UK there are currently 145,200 all-female-led incorporations in 2021, which represents an average year-on-year growth of 37.3%.

There is also more representation of women in leadership with senior females in the FTSE 100 increasing to 32.5% last year according to Combined Executive Committee & Direct Reports.

This represents monumental progress in bringing greater diversity in organisations throughout the country, however despite this positive landmark, there is still work to be done to champion women in business.

New companies remain almost three times as likely to be started by men than women and in the FTSE 100, two-thirds of new appointments went to men in 2021.

So, how do we best exact meaningful change?

In my opinion, the only way we can create truly inclusive organisations is for those in leadership to really mean it – they have to drive whatever change is necessary with genuine intent and purpose.

Driving change is something that I strive to do everyday in my work to not only focus on my own organisation and personal success but the industry as a whole.

I am of course very proud of my work as CEO & Founder of Platinum Wave Franchising and helping disruptive, game-changing brands launch into international growth regions.

But I am also keen to help others strive to succeed as well, which is why I am so passionate about mentoring and encouraging women into starting their own business through franchising.

Franchising is a great way for women to buy a business where the support and opportunities are exactly the same for everyone. There is zero reason for a Franchisor to award a territory to anyone other than the strongest candidate since in most franchise business models the better the franchisee does, the better the franchisor does.

You can see these equal opportunities throughout the industry with many high up figures in the scene being women such as Pip Wilkins, who is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association.

She is another example of someone who has taken positive action to encourage women through her annual empowering women into business event which allows female entrepreneurs to network and educate each other on the franchising scene.

Throughout the business world there is a clear difference between those who put in the work to encourage change and those who are “wanting to be ‘seen’ as inclusive. The lack of action from many will never get the job done – that’s why I think the world still has a long way to go.

I think a lot of companies can end up with teams selected as close versions of the person who starts the business – and the only thing that business will be representative of is the founder – certainly not its customers .

You have to pick the best people for the role, but always draw from as wide a pool as possible.


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