Increasing the number of women in a firm could boost the UK's economic growth by a significant amount, a Women's Business Council report argues.
If the same number of females as males were represented in the country's workforce, the organisation states GDP would increase by ten per cent.
Karen Gill, co-founder of campaign group Everywoman, told HR Magazine: "Women are vital to the economy. Addressing the leaky female talent pipeline will enable a greater representation of women throughout business from the bottom to the top."
However, although this issue is widely recognised by everyone from government to business leaders, there is still very little being done to ensure women are more fairly represented in the workplace, according to Ms Gill.
HR leaders, for example, are keen to get more females into their company but – as research by Everywoman shows – they do not know where to start.
Another issue is the fact that many women in middle management feel they are not supported in career progression – something which contributes to many dropping out of work altogether.
Females should be encouraged to take on more significant leadership roles in a company and through the right support they will be able to better juggle different aspects of their life, such as looking after children – the report states.
Ms Gill advises told companies: "Encourage female middle managers to take greater responsibility for their careers. Giving women the tools and resources they need to take charge of their development is one of the most effective ways of doing this."
By offering flexible working, for example, mothers can better address their work/life balance as they take control of their own schedule and tasks – this solution is being offered by an increasing number of companies these days.
While some firms may worry that offering this style of work may detach employees, the reverse is true and staff can easily be well-connected to the office thanks to advances in technology.
Utilising cloud computing and free conference call providers can help keep the lines of communication open when mothers choose to work at home, for example.