Last updated: 22.05.15

Women aged over 55 'may hold key to transformation'

Employers are being encouraged to expand upon their traditional definition of talent after a new report has revealed that the largest proportion of strategist leaders in Europe are women aged over 55.The report, conducted by PwC, found that of the 6,000 European professionals surveyed, only eight per cent of those in senior managerial roles possess the strategist attributes required to affect change.Instead, females over the age of 55 were the most likely to be able to see situations from a range of perspectives, exert power courageously and use positive language. However, this area of talent was found to be the most overlooked.Despite many organisations keeping up with the rapid pace of technology, the report revealed that less than one in ten current leaders have the necessary skills and mindsets to impart transformational change.Jessica Leitch, people and organisation consultant at PwC, said: "Empowering strategists is not about finding a successful operational manager and giving them a job title with the word 'strategic' in it."It’s about finding people who can think and work outside the existing system, who can see what needs to change and are able to persuade or inspire others to follow them."Ms Leitch continued: "Historically women over the age of 55 would not have been an area of focus, but as the research suggests, this pool of talent might hold the key to transformation and in some cases, business survival."The report stated that successful strategist leaders should be willing to take on frank and honest feedback, yet this is something that current leaders find difficult.Ms Leitch concluded that HR should urge leaders to properly consider their own personal development.Virtual College is one of the leading providers of e-learning in the UK. Our Business Series has been developed to bring cost-effective and flexible training to employees, whatever their level of experience. For more information, please visit: