You’ve likely heard it all before.
Women in the United States working full-time, year round are paid about 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues, with this gender pay gap occurring in 98 percent of occupations. Women find it harder to move up (with men promoted at 30 percent greater rates) and are constantly faced with the proverbial glass ceiling. Try as one may, some shatter it, while others simply hit the top with a “thud,” wondering what invisible obstacles lie in their way.
Men in equity is just as important, though sometimes overlooked. Men are denied paternity leave — with many not even questioning the denial — and those who would rather adopt the role of primary caregiver are seen as outside of the norm. Men also face certain expectations of behavior and attitude, which prohibits the fostering of valuable workplace traits such as creativity, vulnerability and emotional awareness.
Companies, brands, possibly even your own, are making pledges to address gender equality in the workplace, realizing it’s important. Most teams recognize the above is not an ideal state.
However, do you know exactly why, beyond the simple fact of gender equity as a social issue, and can you see gender equity’s impact in your company’s daily operations? If not, you’ll never be able to grasp the true opportunity this current state provides.
One Concept, Impacting the Entirety of Your Day-to-Day Business
Gender equity on its own is a mammoth concept. After all, you’re gathering centuries of inequity, gender stereotypes, poverty, abuse and misfortune into two little words. Broken into palatable bite-sized pieces, though, it’s easy to see how gender equity and the state of it in the workplace impacts your daily operations.
It’s simple economics. You need a talent pool to create your service or product. You need consumers with the income to purchase your service or product. You need to stay in the black, versus the red, and to keep the shareholders happy. Everything you do on a daily basis works toward these simple needs, in order to stay in business.
A Shortage of Talent, Abundant Talented Women
Let’s look at the talent pool first. The world’s talent pool is shrinking, for a multitude of reasons including an aging population and growing skills gap. Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 percent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion. Your current talent pool is retiring and it’s becoming more difficult to find skilled workers to replace them. Reports have shown a projected shortfall of 40 million skilled workers with tertiary education (college or postgraduate) in the global workforce by 2020.
Meanwhile, women are quickly becoming the most educated group within the United States, obtaining 57 percent of bachelor degrees and above in 2015 and on a path to increasing that percentage. Yet, they’re leaving the traditional workforce for plentiful reasons at a frightening rate, with their labor force participation projected to fall to 56.1 percent in 2026.
Catering to (and Supporting) Consumer Power
What about the consumer? Women drive 85 percent of all consumer purchasing, according to research firms Yankelovich Monitor and Greenfield Online. It would be safe to infer, then, that if you take away or reduce female purchasing power, many companies would feel the effects substantially. Does it not make sound business sense to promote the increased wealth of your biggest consumer demographic?
The Data Doesn’t Lie
When it comes to the bottom line of keeping your shareholders happy and making a profit, the data doesn’t lie. Women in management leads to a 19 percent higher return on equity and 9 percent higher dividend payments. 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.
We also found through our own research across 4,161 companies in 29 countries that for every 10-percent increase in gender equity there is a 1- 2-percent increase in revenue. In 2018, we expanded this original research to 6,250 companies in 32 countries and found that for every 7-percent increase in gender equity, there is a 3-percent increase in revenue (we collected over 1 billion data points).
A Big, Bright Light at the End of the Tunnel
All of that can seem a little grim, because, while women have so much to offer the economic state of the world, they’re not being utilized in a way that makes sense. Instead, the current state is a little (a lot) rough and in some cases, such as that of the shrinking talent pool, the impacts of gender inequity seem to only be getting worse.
At Pipeline, though, we look at things in a different light. Yes, we recognize the data-driven truth, but we also see the current state as a fantastic opportunity.
Parity is Probably Easier Than You Think
The World Economic Forum estimates it will take 217 years for us to reach global gender equity. We want to achieve gender equity within our lifetime. Sound unlikely? Here’s how it’s possible.
Gender equity is a massive economic opportunity. Just re-visit the data above on increasing revenue and profitability through gender equity. If you can recognize the data-driven growth possibilities, the only hard part is actually achieving gender equity in your own company.
That’s where Pipeline comes in. Using data and insight from the brands that are using gender equity to see success and profitability, we created a software platform that enables companies to achieve gender equity and leverage the full economic power of closing the gender equity gap. When you and your team begin using the platform, you can not only know your timeline to parity, but also steps to getting there — as quickly as possible.
Ready to see how Pipeline can increase your company’s success? You have nothing to lose and a wealth of opportunities to gain. Experience the Pipeline platform first hand by scheduling a demo today.