Gender diversity is not a problem, it is a solution
In the discussion about gender diversity, it is often assumed that this problem needs to be addressed. However, there is growing evidence that solving the problem of diversity can actually be a solution to key business issues, writes Peter Cosgrove of Cpl Resources plc.
Here are three reasons why a gender-differentiated workplace is a business imperative:
1. The use of 100% of your talents closes the job gap.
The world population is shrinking as is the talent pool. By 2020, Ireland alone will potentially offer up to 21,000 vacancies in the area of large data analysis. With such a demand, it makes sense to use the entire talent pool. In particular, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has a significant shortage of female workers. If you hire more women, you can handle thousands of jobs in the technology sector.
Starting a broad network is the best way to ensure diversity. Look at your recruiting process – how inclusive is it? You need to spend enough time and money looking for the best candidates.
For example, let your employees know about the subconscious inclinations they maintain during the recruitment process. People are recruiting for those who, in their opinion, meet the criteria of the “ideal worker” – such as the willingness to work overtime and to stay “always active”. This is often distorted by the tendency to hire people like you. Managers can change employees’ perception of these criteria by giving examples and addressing this unconscious bias.
2. Be a worthy business to work on.
Different companies that offer a supportive and supportive work environment for women show a career and happiness culture for their employees. Companies that value the needs and expectations of their employees will be the ones to work for. These are the companies that attract the greatest talent.
It can be counterproductive to focus women only on flexible labor policies. Measures aimed at women can often lead to a culture of resentment or pressure. Men may also need parental leave or remote work, so this policy should be open to all. Check the pulse of the workplace and listen to the needs and concerns of the employees. For example, fathers may often feel “fathers in the shadows” because they want to be considered good workers. When you meet the needs of all your employees, you create an environment that is not only user-friendly for women, but also strengthens the commitment and motivation of women workers.
3. Build a successful brand.
The most valuable brands in the world have a higher proportion of women than the average. In 2013, the top 7 brands had an average of 22.7% female board members. They succeed because diversified management leads to different ways of thinking. Currently, women account for only 13% of management positions and 3% of creative directors. For brands to be innovative, creative and attractive, it is essential to recruit and promote women in sufficient numbers. To ensure that female directors are not perceived as symbolic nominations, they should make up at least 3% of the board. When this threshold is reached or exceeded, a critical change occurs, in which it can neither be ignored nor isolated and change the dynamics in your business.
This not only leads to more creativity, but also to higher profitability. In a survey of Fortune 500 companies, people with more women in management positions achieved a 34% higher total return than the lowest performers. A higher proportion of women in the workplace is becoming increasingly important for business success.
Gender diversity will be an answer to many of the problems facing businesses today. Organizations with the most innovative brands, the most dedicated employees and the strongest balance sheets all have a diverse workforce.