While the working world has made plenty of strides with gender diversity, we still have a long way to go in order to achieve true equality.
Consider these statistics:
- Of the CEOs on the Fortune Global 500, there were only 13 women – equaling about 2.6 percent.
- Only around 21% of board director seats around the world are held by women.
- In terms of median earnings, women, on average, earn 12.9% less than men in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
- Around 160 million women may need to move into more skilled roles by 2030.
- Per a report from Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org nonprofit organization, “50% of men think women are well represented in companies where 10% of senior leaders are women.”
The bottom line is this: barriers continue to exist for women in the workplace, and organizations continue to search for impactful ways to make a change. Why? Evidence proves it out; gender diversity is a must for today’s companies, and increasing gender diversity helps fuel a high-performing and profitable organization.
Here’s why gender diversity matters in the modern workplace:
Gender diversity makes for profitable organizations.
A 2015 McKinsey study entitled “Why Diversity Matters” shows some stunning correlations between gender diversity and profitability. Among other things, the study showed that companies with gender diversity in executive leadership did 21% better in earnings, 27% better in long-term value, and were 15% more likely to generate “above-average profitability.”
Gender diversity allows different voices to be heard.
Without gender diversity, organizations threaten to miss out on a wide range of voices, opinions, life experiences, and skills. This range of different voices translates to outside-the-box thinking and the innovation that organizations need to succeed in the competitive modern landscape. As a Harvard Business Review article points out, organizations with higher-than-average diversity rates have 19% higher innovation revenues. That “diversity of views” that gender diversity enables is a powerful driver for success.
Gender diversity supports a stable (and desirable) working environment.
Nothing disrupts a company’s steady progress, quite like job turnover—and statistics show that the more diverse a team, the likelier it is that an employee will stay in their position (19% more likely, according to a Corporate Leadership Council report). Another bonus? A focus on gender diversity not only helps you keep your trusted employees around—it also helps to attract the next wave of talent, too. The next wave of bright young job seekers has a watchful eye out for companies’ diversity practices; 2/3rds of them make it a point to search for companies that emphasize diversity. A company with strong gender diversity and other D&I practices can set itself apart in the competitive modern job market.
Gender diversity creates better teams.
Did you know that the new thoughts and perspectives gender diversity deliver to teams can boost teamwork and collaboration? Take a look at this research from the University of Amsterdam, which stated that teams with equal gender diversity helped ensure “mutual monitoring,” or job accountability, throughout—meaning a more successful outcome. Another research study from Fortinet stated that “gender-diverse teams make better decisions 73% of the time versus 58% of the time for all-male teams.”
Gender diversity expands your audience.
The best way to speak and market to a demographic of the customer base is through the representation and input of members of that demographic. Without the insight and knowledge gender diversity gives an organization, how can you be sure your marketing message and product development are on the right track? Gender diversity helps to open up your base of appeal—and in a business world where women, for example, account for 85% of all consumer purchases (and where 91% of women say “advertisers don’t understand them”)—it’s an absolute necessity.