Making your organization a great place for women to work isn’t just about hiring and promoting more women. It can’t be achieved through a few simple changes to your policies and benefits. It’s an intentional decision to transform your organization in every aspect.
Organizations must take a strategic and holistic approach to achieving gender diversity and making their organization a great place for women to work. Based on the existing data, and our own research, we believe there are six components to making your organization a great place for women to work.
Making your organization a great place for women to work must be driven by the executive leaders of an organization. When men and executive leadership are actively engaged in gender diversity initiatives 96% of the organizations see progress. Men and Executive leaders must be consistently engaged in the strategic planning and execution of gender diversity initiatives.
Making your organization a great place for women to work requires an organization to intentionally invest in the development of their female employees – at every level in the organization. Organizations must work to develop coaching, training, and mentoring programs that enhance what you’re already doing and intentionally invest in the women of your organization.
Gender diversity initiatives don’t exclude men from the conversation, they intentionally engage them. Organizations must build unconscious bias training for employees and apply that training to the human systems. Additionally, businesses must engage in more meaningful ally and workplace harassment training that engages employees in intentional conversations around differences, instead of just checking a compliance box with an online video.
Talent acquisition, performance evaluations, promotion, succession planning, terminations, employee engagement groups, etc. all play an integral role in the culture for women. We know that women are often treated differently than their male peers in every human system. Fixing the systems to remove systemic bias and human bias is paramount in assuring gender diversity, gender equity, and the advancement of women.
You need data that compares the experiences of men and women in the workplace. Additionally, organizations should be tracking certain employee data based on gender demographics and comparing that data to the larger trends, to help your organization determine if it is a great place for women to work.
Take a careful look at your organizations policies and benefits, as well as the usage of those benefits at every level in the organization (including executive leadership). Policy and Benefits are an integral component to being a great place for women to work, but not just a great maternity leave.
A McKinsey report, Delivering on Diversity, indicates that companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation. Additionally, companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/cultural diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability than were all other companies [in the data set].
The challenging part is not only figuring out how to achieve gender diversity, but how to build a culture that is a great place for women to work.