If you have arrived here because you have been researching ways to take your business forward, improve staff development and increase office productivity? Then a key area that can be improved upon is that of gender diversity in the workforce.
Gender Diversity most commonly refers to an equal ratio of men and women and frequently in the news you will read stories about gender diversity in corporate boardrooms and other areas traditionally dominated by men. Some of the most common industry areas that see a dominance in male employees over female is in computing, engineering, medicine and science.
Whilst most of us agree that in order to have a fair and productive working environment, an equal balance of men and women is required, more commonly than not, this is not the case despite the modern age that we live in. Gender diversity in a work place means that men and women are hired at a similar and consistent rate, are paid equally and are given the same working opportunities with the same promotional opportunities.
From an early age boys and girls may be unconsciously treated differently causing stereotypes when it comes to what they think they can achieve. It’s not always well known that girls generally perform better at school yet in their working lives is it frequently the case that they earn less and occupy less leadership positions than men.
Reducing gender gaps in labour market participation, Science, technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) qualifications and wages, could increase the size of the UK economy by around 2% or £55 billion by 2030*
Diverse work forces have been proven to outperform ones that aren’t. It can increase profitability as a company and decrease staff turnover.
Companies in the top 25% for gender diversity on their executive team were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the bottom 25%*
Women who chose to start a family, frequently have their career’s disrupted by maternity leave, childcare and part time working.
Despite doing better in education; women are over three times more likely to work part time; are less likely to progress in work; generally work in lower paying industries and occupations; and have lower pensions wealth.*
*HM Government, Gender equality at every stage : a roadmap for change
Whilst women make up around 40% of the global workforce, only about 5% of those are in CEO and upper management positions and even then, annual salaries or men in similar positions are not equal. In fact, studies have suggested that women earn only 80% of what their male counterparts do.
Companies who work to increase the gender balance in the upper quartiles can expect to benefit from:
An equal opportunities environment in the office can self promote and increase ambitions in the workplace. If women have a sense that there is a chance to progress thanks to equal gender representation in senior roles then it can vastly increase productivity and positivity which can filter through the rest of the office.
Employee turnover is a big challenge for businesses each and every month of the year. Businesses with an inclusive culture are significantly more likely to have a lower turnover rate to to increased morale and equality.
With a gender diversity policy, you are opening up your business to more talent that would otherwise have been overlooked. By eliminating or ignoring female employees within the workplace, your business would be loosing out on a significant talent pool, one with unique attributes that only female workers can bring to the boardroom table.
In this modern age of digital advertising, social media and other ultra fast communication tools, news travels fast. A business with a strong record of diversity and equality in the workplace is more likely to tap into the female workers seeking a career with a business that has real opportunities for promotion and development.
Women influence over 85% of retail decisions so in order to have a diverse approach to your business goals, you need a diverse workforce.