as Senior Vice President, Professional Services Baires DevDamian oversees the entire customer relationship lifecycle and safeguards the company’s operations.
“Under normal circumstances, we don’t really ask about the ‘business case’ for female leadership,” wrote Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic in an essay. Forbes article. “After all, one would expect that any fair, moral, and efficiently functioning state would have no reason to exclude half of its citizens from being fully active members of society, or to limit economic opportunity to only 50% of the population.”
However, despite research showing the clear benefits of gender equality in business, there are far fewer women in most industries, including industries like technology that rely on innovation and diversity of thought and background.
There has been a lot of discussion about the advantages of having more women at the top of companies and involving them at every level of the business pipeline — at least, as far as the women themselves are concerned. But it’s not just about helping women pursue rewarding careers. There is also a clear business case for making our organization more gender inclusive and equitable.
While we have made some progress towards gender equality, this progress has slowed during the Covid-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affects women. There are still far more men than women in leadership positions in many industries.
Interestingly, since 1991, women have been entering management positions faster than men, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). At the same time, men still far outnumber women in these positions. Additionally, the International Labor Organization reports that while nearly 75 percent of businesses globally have equal opportunity or diversity and inclusion policies, these policies alone are not sufficient to play a significant role in helping women succeed.
What is the business case for gender equality? It leads to better organization for a number of reasons.
It improves productivity and work ethic.
When people are involved in diverse businesses, their jobs are better. This is not speculation; according to the World Bank, if companies eliminated discrimination against female employees, productivity per worker could increase by 40%.
It fosters innovation.
All types of businesses depend on innovation. Inevitably, when you incorporate gender diversity, you are exposed to different perspectives and ideas. Research shows that having more women on boards provides greater opportunities to leverage a range of skills. Of course, in general, diverse team members help generate more ideas, which leads to a stronger culture of creativity and innovation.
It allows for more profitability.
ILO research cited earlier shows that bringing more women into business can boost profitability – by as much as 63%.
Meanwhile, companies with the highest percentage of women on their executive committees had a 47 percent higher return on equity than companies with no female executives.
It helps in building a better brand and image.
As you can probably guess, all of these efforts mean a stronger brand and a more compelling image. You want to be part of a company that cares about its employees and believes in diversity, and by including more female team members and leaders, you are demonstrating a commitment to building an inclusive business.
In fact, a Morgan Stanley survey found that 66% of high-net-worth investors said it was important to them to invest in companies that hire and promote people from diverse backgrounds.
We need to build better businesses through gender equality.
The business case for gender equality is clear. Not only do these factors play an important role, but gender diversity can also help improve morale, improve employee satisfaction, improve reputation and strengthen teamwork.
Knowing why you should promote gender equality is the first step. The next step is to put the practice into practice to advance the needle. It’s a long process, but some ideas to get you started include:
• Create a more inclusive hiring process.
• Provide support and guidance to female team members.
• Conduct pay audits to assess the gender pay gap and correct any gaps you find.
• Pay close attention to the composition of leadership.
We can have a more gender-equal future — but we must all commit to improving it.
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