Our overall workforce is gender balanced; however, women remain under-represented at the highest levels of the business. Through our research we have identified a number of specific challenges affecting women, including time out of the work-force as carers, unconscious bias, less visibility of female leaders and lack of role models.
The WPP Stella women's network aims to address these barriers that could prevent women from progressing their careers to senior levels within the Group and to facilitate the sharing of good practices between our companies. The network began in the UK and will be extended to our businesses in the US and Asia. As well as supporting our work on inclusion and tackling unconscious bias, the network has:
We are making progress on representation of women at senior levels. As of December 31, 2016, women comprised 29% of the X:PP Board, 33% of non-executive directors on the WPP Board, 34% of directors and executive leaders in our operating companies, 48% of senior managers and 39% of Global Client Leaders.
There is a clear-cut case for gender equality and diversity in our sector, just as there is across the world of business. We have a lot more to do in this area and absolutely require a workforce that is diverse in all senses and able to create work that connects with the diverse global consumer base. And businesses with greater gender balance in their leadership teams perform better than the competition.