A lack of female role models and women in leadership roles remains an issue, according to the latest data from LinkedIn.

Just 25 percent of C-suite roles in the UK are held by women, despite them occupying 46 percent of entry level positions.

It was also found that men are 21 percent more likely to be promoted to a leadership position than women.

This presents a new challenge to businesses when it comes to the retention of talent: visible role models are an important retention tactic – as one in four women admit to leaving their job as a result of having no relatable role model.

It is unsurprising, then, that 72 percent of professionals believe there is “still work to be done” to make role models more visible.


Female role models and retaining talent

“From the conversations we increasingly see on LinkedIn, visible role models play a vital role in shaping people’s careers, regardless of what stage they’re at. Visible role models are also vital for the retention of talent. Seeing others in roles people wish to emulate, encourages them to believe in their own abilities and helps them set goals for themselves, regardless of gender, race, age or sexuality,” highlights UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, Janine Chamberlin.

Businesses need to ensure that leaders have the qualities employees are looking for from their role models – including ability to do their job well (48%), values (48%), confidence (48%) and leadership ability (44%) .

Further demonstrating the need for more visible role models, professionals who have one, say they taught them to believe in themselves (76%), inspired them to achieve more (75%) and lifted them up when they were low (74%). Importantly, seven in ten say this influential figure has shown them what people of their gender can achieve, despite societal barriers.

However, 72 percent of those with a role model say there is still work to be done to make them more visible. Women, in particular, feel strongly about this lack of visibility, with 57 percent believing that having a relatable role model is crucial to achieving career success and 70 percent agreeing it’s easier to be like someone you can see.


Moving forward

“I’m proud to be working alongside LinkedIn to highlight the importance of visible role models, particularly in helping professional females achieve success. When women see other women achieving their own goals, they are more likely to believe in themselves to do the same – this is something I have witnessed first-hand both in my sporting and legal careers. It’s also why I’m heavily involved in mentoring programmes, to empower future generations,” says professional goalkeeper for Crystal Palace F.C. and City Lawyer, Chloe Morgan.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.