Gender Balance at Work
Research has shown that gender balance at work benefits the company as a whole. Then why isn’t everyone adopting a more equitable company culture?
There are 2 main issues:
- Men and Women have differing ideas of whether or not gender equity has been achieved. According to the WSJ, most women believe the workforce needs improvement with regards to gender equality. Whereas most men perceive the scene as more level.
- Employers often correlate productivity with hours worked. As we all know from watching coworkers wander aimlessly around an office while holding a salad – longer hours do not yield better results. Therefore when women, commonly the primary caregiver, are requesting more time flexibility, this does not always sit well with employers.
70% of working mothers state that flexibility is important to them. However, asking for flexibility can result in passovers for promotions and other forms of penalization. This is referred to as the flexibility stigma. Many highly educated women, especially in the fields of finance and law, are feeling forced out by rigid work environments. As mentioned in the previous post, there are many benefits to a flexible work culture – including employee retention, loyalty, and job satisfaction.
The Upside of Balance
When all groups are represented fairly, businesses can receive more insights and feedback from a variety of perspectives. This leads to more innovation and creativity. According to McKinsey, companies that have more gender diversity are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability. Companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to see better-than-average profits. Diversity is a great benefit for an organization. Simply put – it has a positive impact on your bottom line.
By making the workplace more hospitable and fair to all genders, we create an environment that not only levels the playing field but also offers more employee well-being and prosperity. An inclusive culture promotes fairness and equity and a feeling of security for all groups. This in turn increases employee rentention and productivity.
When women stay in the workforce, we avoid the female brain drain. The more diversity at the table the more ideas, perspectives, and insights offered. In a recent gallup study gender diverse business units have 14-19% higher revenue than less diverse units. Studies have also shown that a higher number of women on a project results in better collaboration and improved communication. Most importantly, according to this HBR survey since many mothers leave and then return to the workforce they have a unique set of skills and experience and a wholly different perspective than someone who has continued on the same path for 2 decades. And since women make 85% of all brand purchases their perspective is rather important.
This is one of those be on the right side of history moments and organizations stand to gain everything. Foster fairness at work – Have happy employees. Increase retention rates – Produce better work. Improve revenue – Enjoy great success.
Gender balance goes beyond just hiring more women but also creating a more fair, equitable work culture that empowers all employees.