The gender gap has plagued women in all industries, but we’re seeing some interesting trends in L&D that are worth talking about. In the recently released Training Journal survey, it’s clear that while improvements are being made, there is still a lot of ground to cover to fully close that gap. Here’s what we learned about where women stand in L&D and what we can do to create positive change. The Training Journal survey showed that while women are rising in the ranks of Learning & Development, they still face many challenges that directly influence their ability to succeed within the business training industry. First let’s discuss where women are doing well. Almost 70% of survey respondents were female, and within that group 30% worked as HR/L&D/OD Directors and 35% were HR/L&D/OD Managers. Those numbers are greater than national averages, showing that L&D is ahead of the curve in comparison to other industries. But is it enough? Not according to the respondents themselves, who directly noted a lack of diversity to be a serious concern. Racial diversity in particular was noted by several respondents, especially at the managerial level. A lack of diversity of any kind is of concern because the industry should be reflective of the customer, the companies and trainees we work to help. Respondents said that businesses should be held responsible for creating wider cultural change when it comes to recruitment, and said that senior executives need to take the lead in embracing and encouraging greater racial and gender equality. The survey revealed that one in four respondents said they had been discriminated against because of their gender and made note of how working mothers were still regularly penalized for having children. The issue of the pay gap is also front and center in the survey. These issues of equality in the workforce need to remain in the public light so that they can be addressed.
Women in L&D Leadership: How Can We Close the Gender Gap For Good?