Men have a crucial role to play in ensuring there is a strong talent pipeline of women ready to fill executive roles.

This message comes from Pavita Cooper, a member of the 30% Club Steering Committee which includes company chairman and CEOs committed to improving the gender balance in business.

“We are seeing chairman having conversations with other chairman and challenging them if they do not have enough women in senior roles,” says Cooper, who is also founder of talent and career insight consultants More Difference.

“Everyone talks about a meritocracy but there has to be a fair system in the first place which means more women on shortlists. When the 30% Club speaks to organisations we insist there are men in the room because they must be part of the conversation if change is to happen.”

Cooper says organisations should look at their employee data at every level and location and set sensible targets.

“Any aim to have 30% women in senior roles would be unrealistic if you currently have none, but you must be authentic.”