Our Current State: Where We Are and Where We’re Going With Gender Parity
Note: This is part two of a five-part series, “An Audacious Goal: Achieving Gender Equity in Our Lifetime.” Click to read part one.
Gender parity is expected to take 217 years globally, according to the World Economic Forum. Why is this the case, when Pipeline’s research has proven it’s possible to reach gender parity in our lifetime?
The signs of gender inequity surround us. Consider the following:
- A gender pay gap occurs in 97 percent of occupations, with women paid on average about 80 cents for every dollar that their male colleagues earn
- Men are promoted at 21 percent greater rates than women
- Female labor force participation is projected to fall to 56.1 percent in 2026
Beyond the most oft-quoted statistics, there are a host of other aspects of everyday business that contribute to or are affected by the current state of gender inequity. Let’s dive into a few of these aspects, starting with men in the workplace.
Men in the Workplace
Common misconceptions paint gender equity as a male-versus-female issue. In reality, just as everyone stands to benefit from gender equity, everyone is negatively affected by the lack thereof.
Men, similar to women, desire different roles in society. In fact, 48 percent of men would like to be stay-at-home fathers. Providing flexible working arrangements—for women and men—is key to achieving gender equity. As such, men who have more access to flexible working arrangements actually spend less time physically in the office, are more productive, have higher performance rates, can take on higher workloads and report less stress.
Additionally, gender inequity often means new fathers do not receive the same parental leave as new mothers. Not only is this an oversight in workplace compensation for men, but it adds undue strain on a new mother. When you look at parental leave for same-sex couples, the issue gains additional unique challenges. Equitable parental leave for both genders takes the entirety of the domestic burden off women, allows both genders to appreciate this important time in their family’s life and allows everyone to return to the workplace with the proper support and resources.
The Problem of the Shrinking Talent Pool
Next, let’s consider that the global talent pool is shrinking.
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. As soon as next year (2020), businesses can expect a shortfall of 40 million skilled workers with tertiary education.
Women are the most educated group in the United States, and that fact is projected to continue. Yet it’s these women who are leaving the workforce due in part to gender inequity, not due to stereotypical misconceptions such as childbirth. In fact, 90 percent of women who leave the workforce when having a child do so for reasons other than having a child. They’re leaving due to the difficulty found in moving through the leadership pipeline. The workforce that does not make room for women is the same workforce that needs them now more than ever.
Where Are We Going with Gender Equity?
Gender parity starts with a choice. While the signs of gender inequity surround us, so do the opportunities to reverse the status quo and experience the benefits that follow.
On an economic scale, gender equity would add up to $2.1 trillion of incremental GDP by 2025 to the U.S. economy, an almost 10 percent increase, if each U.S. state matched the state with the fastest rate of improvement toward gender parity over the last decade.
On a smaller scale, within individual organizations, women in management would lead to a 19 percent higher return on equity and 9 percent higher dividend payments. Increase in corporate leadership to a 30 percent female share would result in a 1 percent increase in net margin or a 15 percent increase in profitability.
How Do We Achieve Gender Parity?
It doesn’t need to take 217 years for us to reach global gender equity. It can be accomplished within our lifetime.
It starts with a commitment to gender equity and a promise to live out your pledge. A 56 point disconnect exists between CEOs who make gender equity a top priority and employees who see gender diversity regularly measured and addressed within their company.
Demonstrable action is necessary.
Pipeline makes action easier. Using data and insight from brands that already experience increased financial outcomes thanks to gender equity, the Pipeline platform gives organizations a path to parity and enables companies to realize the financial benefits. It shows the best internal hires, compensation, promotions and more to increase gender equity within your company as quickly as possible, with each decision accompanied by an economic opportunity.
Want to see how it works? Schedule a demo of the Pipeline platform today.
Continue to part three, Where the Quest for Gender Parity Is Stalled: The Glass Ceiling Isn’t Where You Think it Is, where Pipeline uncovers just how many layers there are to the glass ceiling.