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By The Pipeline Team, Staff Writer

Apr 24, 2018

The Importance of Gender Equity in Sales

Categories: Economics of Gender Equity  Events  Gender Equity  Gender Pay Gap  Pipeline Platform  

Gender diverse sales teams outperform their non-diverse peers and generate higher revenue; it’s that simple.

Pipeline has reached three important milestones in the last three weeks:

  1. Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper’s Proclamation of April 10th in the State of Colorado, as Equity for All Day.
  2. The v.3 launch of the Pipeline platform—today, not only can we tell companies their time to parity, we can get them there.
  3. Our graduation from the Salesforce Accelerate program, with the launch of the first gender equity app on Salesforce’s Appexchange

The importance of Pipeline reaching these milestones transcends the walls of our Denver office, the State of Colorado, and the United States—hitting each mark represents a positive step forward in our mission to bend the arc of history toward inclusion and achieve gender equity—in this lifetime.

The Pipeline platform is the tool every company needs today, to achieve gender equity, and realize this massive economic opportunity.

We’ve reached a tipping point both in business and in society. People are becoming more aware of the importance of achieving gender equity, socially and economically, than they’ve ever been before.

RELATED: Setting Up Women to Fail: The Glass Ceiling, Glass Cliff, and Golden Skirt

As we continue to see more companies zero in on initiatives aimed at eliminating unconscious bias, increasing diversity, and working toward closing the gender equity gap, we will see focus drawn to specific organizational roles. To find success in these initiatives, companies will need to move from the big picture down to the granular level, operationalizing gender equity into each function within the company.

This leads us to consider the importance of gender equity within sales.

In a 2016 report, the McKinsey Global Institute found, 90% of new CEOs were promoted from the line, and 100% of those promoted were men. The study also found the percentage of women in line roles is diminished with each step up the corporate ladder, and women hold only 20% of SVP line roles. Women are being left out of the top levels of organizations before getting a foot in the door.

“In corporate America, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step.”—McKinsey Global Institute

Not surprisingly, men, historically, have dominated sales rolesFindings from CEB show the biggest gap of women in leadership positions, second only to supply chain and logistics—is found within sales. At the same time, their findings demonstrate gender diverse sales teams consistently outperform their non-diverse peers on revenue, customers, market share, and profitability. Leaving women out of leadership positions within sales is a costly mistake for companies.

The selling environment is growing more complex, and to address this growing complexity, sales roles increasingly require more advanced skills. As a result, sales roles within all levels of a company are becoming more difficult to fill. Women, who today, make up half of the potential sales talent pool, are underrepresented within these roles (CEB). Women also make up an increasing share of the highly educated talent pipeline, and bring advanced skills to positions of leadership. Women attained 57% of bachelors degrees and above in 2015 and that trend is projected to continue (US Department of Education).

“B2B sales has never been more difficult or required such sophisticated skills; companies are shooting themselves in the foot by ignoring one half of the workforce.”—CEB Sales & Service

We have a problem.

Highly skilled sales roles are becoming more difficult to fill, and women, the most educated cohort, are being met with barriers that prevent them from reaching the uppermost levels of the sales organization.

RELATED: The State of Gender Equity in the Workplace

Sales teams are sitting on a gold mine of untapped potential but aren’t seizing the opportunity.

Advancing gender diversity in the sales organization has two primary benefits:

  1. Broadens the potential talent pool
  2. Increases profitability and provides a competitive advantage
    • Sales teams with a percentage of women above 44% are 7% more profitable their less-diverse competitors. (CEB)
    • Teams with lower percentages of women have lower sales and lower profits than gender diverse sales teams. (Harvard Kennedy School)

“This is not only a fairness issue, this is also a business issue. The success of every sales organization depends on its ability to attract, develop, and retain high-performing sales professionals and effective sales leaders.”—Cristina Gomez, Sales Professional, Gartner

The traditional mentality of the sales organization needs to be transformed if companies wish to take advantage of the rich opportunities available to them through closing the gender equity gap.

Fortunately, with companies like Salesforce receiving public recognition for the work they are doing to foster gender equity, and a younger generation entering the workforce with markedly different views of workplace diversity than those before—the arc is beginning to bend.

Today, growing numbers of executives realize having women in leadership roles—including sales—brings a wider set of experience and skills, along with diverse viewpoints, that lead to innovative thinking, better decision making at the corporate level, and increased financial performance.

Now, we have a solution.

With v.3 of the Pipeline platform now available, and a growing awareness among business and political leaders (as evidenced by the Governor’s Proclamation in Colorado) of the importance of achieving gender equity, from both a financial and social perspective—we know now, that we’ve nearly reached the tipping point.

Pipeline is the missing link in your sales organization. Learn your company’s time to parity, and discover how Pipeline can get you there—get in touch for a complimentary Pipeline platform demo, and find the newly released Pipeline app on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Make gender equity a quantifiable, data-driven, economic opportunity rather than a confusing and controversial social issue.

Schedule Your Demo: Click Here

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