Monday, 28 February 2011

Equality and Human Rights responds to the Davies Report

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has responded to the release of the report of Lord Davies on women in the boardroom.

24 February 2011

In response to the release of the report of Lord Davies on women in the boardroom, Stephen Alambritis, Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“At the current rate of change it will take 73 years for women to achieve equal representation on the boards of FTSE 100 companies. We need to speed up progress. This is not just a moral issue. Our businesses are paying a penalty; there is evidence that more diverse boards take better and more responsible decisions.

“Clearly, we agree with Lord Davies that business needs to put its house in order. We also agree that it would be better for companies to take action themselves without government having to impose quotas upon them. We do, however, need them to demonstrate real progress on this issue – and not just in relation to women but in terms of diversity of all kinds.

“The Commission will make this a priority for our investigations over the next two years. We hope that our work will show that companies are really taking action.”

See also:

Lord Davies' review, Women in the Boardroom now published HERE

and Equality in the Boardroom - jml Training News Release 28th February 2011 HERE

Equality in the boardroom in the UK coming soon?

"Whilst the Davies Report is reporting on inequality in the boardroom it is important not to lose sight of the level of inequality at other levels in organisations as well", says Gráinne Suter of jml Training and Consultancy.

In both public and private sector representation in senior positions does not reflect a gender balance. But where organisations have put in place the right type of positive action initiatives change happens and those organisations reap benefits.

See the JML Training News Release of the 28th February 2011 here

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Lord Davies' review, Women in the Boardroom now published

Lord Davies' review, Women in the Boardroom, which calls for firms to adopt voluntary targets in order to achieve a minimum of 25% female representation on boards by 2015 has been published today 24th February 2011.

Jackie Orme, Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), has today welcomed the publication. In the CIPD Press release - Jackie Orme said: "We welcome Lord Davies focus on a voluntary approach. His review marks the start of a process. It is the right start, but everyone involved in the governance of British firms now needs to step back and recognise that there needs to be a fundamental shift in established perceptions of what a great board member looks like. That is the only way we will ensure we get to and beyond the 20% target swiftly and in a sustainable way.

"That means far more than setting internal targets and filling them in a tick-box way. From my own experience in business, I know that a range of opinions, backgrounds and perspectives is always better than what is often referred to as 'group think'. But I also know that we face a challenge to some severely entrenched attitudes in many boardrooms. I was once told a startling story by a woman who, being interviewed for a non-executive director role at a FTSE 100 firm, was told: 'Don't worry; we're not interviewing you because you're a woman. We've already got one of those'. It is precisely that kind of tokenism and numbers game we need to avoid.

"Meeting Lord Davies' objectives must be about more than skirts on seats. It needs to be about a concerted challenge, lead by chairs of boards and headhunters themselves, to the established views of the skillset, background and range of experiences that make great board members.

That board members should be appointed on merit is a truism - but the definitions of what constitutes 'merit' have been allowed to become too comfortable and too static - to the detriment of corporate performance. We need to get better at drawing from non-traditional sources - and the benefits of that approach will extend far beyond getting more women in the room. It holds out the prospect of generating a vibrant new generation of board members, capable of challenging orthodoxy, banishing group think, and generating more sustainable growth for their firms.

"By seizing this opportunity to challenge established norms, we'll do so much more than just ensuring women are allowed to make up the numbers. Lord Davies has created a platform we can build on - but everyone involved in the governance of our biggest firms now needs to step up and play their part."

Commenting on the publication of ‘Women on boards – Independent Review by Lord Davies of Abersoch’, Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, said: “We are pleased that the report stops short of advocating gender quotas for the boardroom. Quotas would have been incompatible with a meritocratic approach. However, it was unhelpful that Lord Davies did not rule out quotas once and for all. With only 11 per cent of the respondents to Lord Davies’ consultation – of which 88 per cent were women – supporting the idea of quotas, I question why he thinks the threat of quotas should remain.

Mr Templeman added: “A greater diversity of people on boards in general is necessary, and this clearly means we need more female directors. The way to do this is to increase the pool of female senior executives from which directors can be recruited. Improving flexible working opportunities for aspiring female executives will be central, with companies rather than Government taking the lead in creating these opportunities.

“We also believe that Lord Davies is right to argue that a combination of entrepreneurs, existing providers and individuals needs to come together to consolidate and improve the provision of training and development for potential board members. This is an area in which the IoD is ready to make a major contribution through its Chartered Director programme and other professional development activities.”

Key IoD points on the substance of the Davies Review:

•We are pleased the report stops short of advocating gender quotas for the boardroom. It is striking that only 11 per cent of the respondents to Lord Davies’ consultation (of which 88 per cent were women) supported the idea of gender quotas.

•However, we are concerned that Lord Davies continues to threaten gender quotas at a later date if “the recommended business-led approach does not achieve significant change”. This attitude is unhelpful. Gender quotas for boards should have been rejected once and for all as being incompatible with a meritocratic approach to senior level appointments. Furthermore, they would be demeaning and undermining for female directors and aspiring female directors

•The report recommends that listed companies should establish policies and new reporting requirements for female participation on boards and amongst senior executives. These measures are not desirable as they distract companies from establishing a board and management structure that best reflects their specific needs.

•Adding further requirements to the UK Corporate Governance code in respect of gender diversity would not be a positive development. The Code already states that “The search for board candidates should be conducted, and appointments made, on merit, against objective criteria and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the board, including gender”. Further requirements in terms of gender diversity policy will increase the risk that the Code becomes viewed as a list of political requirements for listed companies rather than a guide to improved effectiveness.

•We agree that non-executive director appointments should be more widely advertised. Furthermore, Lord Davies is right to argue that “A combination of entrepreneurs, existing providers and individuals needs to come together to consolidate and improve the provision of training and development for potential board members”. This is an area in which the IoD is ready to make a major contribution through its Chartered Director programme and other professional development activities.

•A greater focus on director development would also assist in the achievement of one of the reports other recommendations; that women from “outside the corporate mainstream, including entrepreneurs, academics, civil servants and senior women with professional service backgrounds” play a greater role on boards. Appropriate development and mentoring activities – tailored to the specific needs of women – could contribute a great deal to the achievement of this objective.

The CBI today welcomed Lord Davies’s report, Women on Boards.

Helen Alexander, CBI President, said: “The lack of women at board level needs addressing urgently, and the best way of achieving this is through companies reporting on their progress.

“We believe firms should report against internally-set targets that reflect different starting points, the nature of particular sectors, and the size and structure of the board.

“Lord Davies’s report rightly proposes that chairs of FTSE 350 companies should set the percentage of women they aspire to have on their boards, based on the characteristics of their business.

“A Government-set target for FTSE 100 directors would not reflect the different circumstances of individual companies. It should be for companies, not the Government, to set an appropriate target.

“The report contains good ideas to develop and sustain the talent pipeline to the boardroom, including harnessing the role of investors, executive search firms, and mentoring. The review has also been wise to avoid quotas, which would not have addressed the real issue of how we bring about a cultural change.”


For the past ten years jml Training has been delivering specialist training programmes for women in management. For further information follow this link

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Are managers confident and competent in managing underperforming staff

A report on the 21st February 11 on the Personneltoday website had this headline "Managers lack confidence when dealing with underperformance"

It went on to say..... Six employers in 10 do not believe that their managers are confident and competent in managing underperforming staff.

This is according to the 2011 XpertHR managing underperformance survey, which also found that four-fifths of organisations think that underperformance is a problem in their workforce to some extent.

However, the survey of 165 employers found that many employers are optimistic about their overall ability to deal with underperforming employees. Six employers in 10 say that their organisation is quite effective at tackling low performance levels and a further one in eight say that it is very effective.

The five main performance problems employers faced were:

high levels of sickness absence;

the capability of the individual;

poor attitude or behaviour to colleagues;

poor standard of work;

and failure to meet set objectives.

Employers considered the most effective strategy in managing underperformance to be providing regular informal feedback and guidance to the individual.

Despite the lack of confidence in line managers' ability to deal with unsatisfactory performance, more than nine organisations in 10 said that management take principal responsibility for dealing with it.

Rachel Suff, author of the report, said: "If line managers are going to be up to the task of effectively managing performance - and underperformance - they need the support to discharge this responsibility. Appropriate training in the necessary skills is the bedrock of that support."
Source; Personneltoday

Appropriate training in the necessary skils is essential and as an employer you should be considering some in-house specialist training.

jml Training have an excellent selection of courses available and if you require something that is not on this list at ,then you only have to contact us.

Unemployment levels are now up and it is so important that organisations get the best from their employees. If they are not properly trained, or being kept up to date then the employee will under perform. There has never been a better time to invest in your organisation's future than investing in training now

Expert says Make sure the job feels right at interview

A news article on the Women in Technology website issued on Tuesday 22nd February 11, says "When heading to an interview, one expert has advised candidates to make sure that the working environment feels right and to trust their instincts when choosing whether or not to take the job.

TV presenter and life coach Georgina Burnett explained that it is important to make sure a job is the right one as that candidate will be in the role for longer and will be good at it.

She also advised jobseekers to be prepared before heading into an interview. (see below) XXX

"There may be a question that they ask where the immediate answer that comes to your mind isn't necessarily the best answer – quite often, questions asked in an interview are actually leading somewhere else - they have an agenda," she remarked.

"So going with your gut instinct rather than the first thing that comes out of your mouth will actually be far more successful."

Job hunters could even find that their salary expectations will be exceeded after TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady recently called for better pay for workers."

XXX If you are applying for a new job / Place at University have you considered Interview Coaching?

Many organisations employ jml Training to coach their staff before they apply for new positions within their organisation. If you would like more information on Coaching Services provided by jml training follow these links and

Housing associations shortlisted for awards

Almost 20 new home developers and housing associations have been shortlisted for an accolade at this year's First Time Buyer Readers' Awards 2011.

The nominated housebuilders and housing associations are A2 Dominion, Affinity Sutton, Catalyst Housing Group, Circle Anglia, Dandara, Family Mosaic, Great Places, Hyde Group, Metropolitan Home Ownership, Miller Homes, Moat / Affinity Sutton, Newlon Home Ownership, Octavia Housing, Orbit Homes, Origin Housing, Southern Housing Group, Sovereign Living and Taylor Wimpey.

Sarah Garrett, managing editor of First Time Buyer Magazine, says: "We are really happy with our 2011 shortlist, as it is filled with very exciting schemes and initiatives. These awards are a great opportunity for developers and associations to be congratulated for the important work they do in our communities and we are confident this year's event will be even more successful."

The First Time Buyer Readers' Awards, sponsored by the Daily Express and Complete Media Group, will take place on Friday 8th April at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, London, where the winners will be announced.

Source "What House"

jml Training has provided training services for major Housuing Associations in the UK and if you are working for a Housing Association and are looking for in-house training contact us today - Follow this link

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

New qualifications launched by Institute of Sales and Marketing Management

The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) has launched new qualifications as part of a long-term national framework initiative to raise the parity and esteem of vocational training.

The notion that sales people are only as good as their last year's sales is starting to disappear," said Denise Edens, the ISMM's Director of Education, "and, with the sluggish economy and the emergence of sales academies, employers are looking for sales people who have something over and above the average. Those who can show that they've invested in their professional development, on top of a great track record and excellent references, stand a better chance of moving up the career ladder."

The ISMM's new qualifications fit into a framework, called the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The QCF is a database of qualifications mapped to a grid showing on one axis the level of difficulty and on the other axis the 'size' of the qualification.

The levels go from one to eight, and the size is determined by name, with 'small' qualifications being called Awards, 'medium' ones Certificates and 'large' ones Diplomas. Qualifications comprise units which different awarding organisations, such as the ISMM, share, and each unit is worth a certain amount of 'credit', based on the size of the unit.

The ISMM's level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications are now open for registration.

"There are Awards at level 1; Awards and a Certificate at level 2 and Awards, a Certificate and a Diploma at level 3," said Denise. "We'll be introducing level 4, 5 and 6 Awards, Certificates and Diplomas on 1st April."

The ISMM's qualifications have been written by practising sales trainers and reviewed by companies, colleges and universities to make sure they cover all the up-to-date content needed to succeed in a sales role today. They contain some theory, such as understanding the sales cycle and the '7Ps of marketing', as well as skills such as negotiating and closing sales.

ISMM qualifications are recognised by Ofqual, the UK Government qualifications regulatory body, which ensures that qualifications are of the highest standard through its rigorous quality assurance procedures.

Denise Edens added: "ISMM qualifications can be taken full or part-time, by classroom, blended or distance learning. At levels 1 and 2, students don't need any experience of working in sales but it helps to have more experience at level 3 and above.

"QCF qualifications are designed to fit around work and family, consisting of small bite-size units which can be taken one by one, banked and built up over time. Learners are entitled to their own nationally recognised Learner Record where they can bank all of the credit they've achieved. "

Most of the ISMM's new qualifications involve assessment via assignment or work-based evidence of achievement, although learners attempting level 1 will sit a multiple choice exam.

"Training providers - called 'Open Centres' - offering these qualifications can be found on the ISMM website under 'Education'," said Denise. "All of our training providers have been through a quality assurance process to make sure that their delivery is of high quality.

"In addition, to help learners, we're writing study guides to support their learning. These guides have been tailored to each unit's assessment criteria, so learners can use the guide for self-study or as part of their course."

Who are the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management? - According to their website - The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management (ISMM) is the UK's only professional body for salespeople. Founded in 1911 to promote standards of excellence in sales and sales management and to enhance the status and profile of sales as a profession, the ISMM has been the authoritative voice of selling and the custodian of sales standards, ethics and best practice for over 35 years.

If your organisation is involved with sales and yes most people in business today are, whether they are selling a product, selling themselves as individuals for promtion in the organisation then jml Training has specialist in house courses. They also provide coaching services including "interviewing coaching". Follow this link for more information

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Public Procurement proposals are welcome

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and The IoD (Institute of Directors) have both issued Press statements in the last few days welcoming the proposals published by the Cabinet Office on a radical overhaul of public procurement procedures and for opening up contracts to small busines.

On the 11th February the IOD issued the following news release - "IoD reaction to Public Procurement proposals"

Commenting on the package of measures announced by the Government today which are designed to open up the public procurement process to SMEs, IoD spokesman Alexander Ehmann, said:

“The IoD welcomes today’s announcements on public procurement. Making procurement easier for small and medium-sized businesses is long overdue. We are particularly pleased that the Government is abolishing the pre-Qualification Questionnaires for all procurement bids under £100,000. That will help SMEs by removing a layer of complex paperwork and assessment requirements. However, it remains to be seen whether today’s changes will benefit small businesses or whether risk-averse bureaucrats will soldier on with ‘safe’ choices of big brands

On the 13th February The REC issued the following news release - "REC welcomes public procurement proposals"

The Cabinet Office has published proposals for a radical overhaul of public procurement procedures and for opening up contracts to small businesses.

This is a significant development for recruiters looking to supply into the public sector and comes after several years of REC lobbying on procurement issues.

Discussions earlier this month with senior officials from the Office for Government Commerce (OGC) underlined the concerns of recruiters and the need for tendering procedures to be streamlined. Specific measures announced today include removing some of the pre-screening requirements in order to speed up the procurement process.

Underlining the implications of for recruiters, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:

“At long last, we are starting to see action instead of just words. The REC has consistently argued for tendering procedures to be made more efficient. We seek a competitive and dynamic market place where recruitment businesses compete on their competence and capability. We also need to find the right balance between streamlining procedures and verifying quality standards.

“The Government has been very clear in its commitment to help SMEs gain access to public sector work. Its announcement is a tangible outcome of this. The REC will monitor how the measures are implemented on the ground and will continue to work constructively with Cabinet Office and OGC.”

Key measures announced include:
• The launch of the Contracts Finder website; available immediately, it identifies contracting opportunities over £10,000. Organisations will be able to specify online, all contracts they are interested in. Details will be provided free of charge.
• The creation of SME (Small Medium Enterprise) product surgeries will give SMEs the opportunity to pitch innovative products and services direct to a panel of senior procurement and operational professionals from central government and the wider public sector.
• The removal of PQQs (pre qualification questionnaires) for all contracts under £100,000.
• Firms will be able to submit their pre qualification data once, avoiding repeat submissions.
• The Cabinet Office’s LEAN Review into procurement processes will show what the Government is doing to reduce waste, tackle bureaucracy and lower the cost of doing business with Government.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Despite the downturn of the economy employers continue to train their staff

9th February 2011- jml training services PRESS RELEASE

When economies have to be made why do some organisations immediately think of cutting their training? If there are cutbacks then the standard of staff motivation will go downhill together with productivity.

Despite the recession some organisations are recognising that learning plays a vital part in ensuring organisational success.

"It is very gratifying to hear this", says Grainne Suter from jml Training and Consultancy, "as it's very shortsighted to believe that cutting the training budget, even in the short term, won't have a negative effect."

More Here....

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Are Housing Associations Compliant with the Equality Act Legislation?

PRESS RELEASE from jml Training - Tuesday 8th February 2011

Housing Associations have not only a legal, but also a service-led and moral obligation to respond to the wide social diversity in contemporary Britain.

Most Housing Associations will have a section in their website stating under Equalities and Diversity that they are committed to ensuring that all their customers have equal access to all their services. They will usually have a section with a list of statements confirming this commitment to Equality.

Read the Press Release in full at Are Housing Associations Compliant with the Equality Act Legislation?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

English housing associations re-let around 5 per cent of their total stock last year

According to a news report on Inside Housing
English associations re-let 5 per cent of homes

English housing associations re-let around 5 per cent of their total stock last year, according to data released by property information company Hometrack.

The data, which was collated using figures from the Tenant Service Authority’s continuous recording of lettings and sales database, shows 137,817 homes were re-let in 2009/10.

The highest re-let rate was in the north east, where more than 7 per cent of homes were re-let. The lowest turnover was in London at 3.54 per cent. The data shows a wide disparity between re-let rates between different local authority areas.

jml Training and Consultancy has been providing training services to Housing Associations in England for a number of years.

Take a look at the information pack HERE

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Recognise and capitalise on your potential with training from jml

jml Training and Consultancy is a bespoke training and coaching company established in 1997 and working in the private and public sector offering in-house training for your organisation.

Find out further details by following this link to increase the size of the wording in the image above

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

New public sector equality duty guidance

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guides for public authorities on the new public sector equality duty, which comes into force on 6th April 2011.

The guides are for public authorities in England and for bodies with non-devolved functions in Scotland and Wales. Separate Codes and guidance on the equality duty will be available from the Commission for public authorities in Scotland (Mid-February) and in Wales (April) to coincide with the publication of the specific duty respective regulations.

More information at:

The Equality Act 2010 - Are you compliant? - Find out more at