Gender equity is a decades-old social issue. North America is 168 years away from realizing gender equality and, in the last year, we’ve added 10 years to the projected time frame.
Why and what can be done to reverse the issue?
Acknowledging the importance of gender equity is a good place to start, but it isn’t enough. In fact, 78 percent of CEOs include gender equality in their top priorities, but the gender inclusion numbers are not changing (or changing very slowly). Only 22 percent of employees say that gender diversity is regularly measured and shared within their company.
While it’s easy to let gender equity slip from your list of priorities, particularly when you have so many other demands within your company, there’s a lot to gain when you give gender equity a higher spot on the list.
Why You Need Data
Driving the action requires data. It takes metrics and measurement, a clear definition of where your company currently stands in terms of gender equity, where it wants to go and how it’s going to get there. Without the data, it’s difficult to understand where your company could improve and how; once you have the data, you can measure track and evaluate both your progress and success.
If you’ve been wondering why your company isn’t moving toward inclusion and overall equity faster, it’s time to gather and look at the facts so you can accelerate your time to gender equity — and realize the economic benefits.
The Facts on Gender Equity and Profitability
First, let’s look at the data on what your company stands to gain should you make gender equity a higher priority.
- In the United States, we could increase GDP by $2 trillion through closing the gender equity gap
- The global GDP could increase by $12 trillion if gender equity were achieved
- Women in management leads to a 19-percent higher return on equity and 9-percent higher dividend payments
- Boards with a higher number of women experience an 18-percent decrease in acquisitiveness, a 12-percent decrease in deal size and an average reduction of $97.2 million in annual M&A spending
- An increase in corporate leadership to 30-percent female share is associated with a 1-percent increase in net margin, which translates to a 15-percent increase in profitability for a typical firm
- For every 7-percent increase in gender equality, there’s a 3-percent increase in revenue
Second, ask yourself:
- How would your team benefit from a 3-percent increase in revenue?
- How would your team benefit from a 15-percent increase in profitability?
- Can you imagine the growth your company would experience if you suddenly saw a 19-percent higher return on equity and 9-percent higher dividend payments?
The benefits of gender equity are undeniable. The data proves it, and when you begin using your own data to drive your gender equity action, reaching those benefits is easier than you’d expect.
In addition to benefits for your company, everyone benefits from gender equity, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status or even country.
The Data You Need to Gauge Your Company’s Gender Equity Standing
If gender equity is not currently a part of your cultural initiatives, you may not know exactly where to start gathering measurable data so you can begin reaping some of the rewards listed above.
Here’s a checklist to start:
- What are women in your company paid?
- How are their salaries decided and how often do they get raises?
- What’s the typical career path for women at your company?
- What are your hiring process?
- How many women are in leadership roles?
- What are the most frequent reasons women leave your company?
- What resources are available to your employees? What benefits?
- Do resources and benefits differ according to gender?
Look at not only your employees’ and leadership attitudes and policies, but also the actual practice. If your culture promotes equity, but women in your department are missing out on valuable conversations because they’re taking notes in meetings, then you may have a disconnect. Take a clear-eyed look at your company’s culture so you can recognize the wealth of opportunities available.
Taking Data-Based Gender Equity Action
Once you have the facts, it’s time to take action. You want to make smart, data-driven choices based on the information you’ve collected.If you’ve found that you have fewer women within your leadership teams, maybe it’s time to reassess your promotion processes for senior roles. If you’ve found you’re hiring largely more men than women and there’s no quantifiable reason why, maybe reassessing your hiring processes is in order.
Need help getting started? The Pipeline platform uses your company’s data to show your time to parity and the path to get there by making data-driven decisions throughout your hiring, pay, performance and potential processes. It puts all your data in one place and measures your actions and results to keep you on the right track. Find out how.