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Calls for gender equality in business are dominating the media these days. Between movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp and a growing sense that women are no longer going to remain silent about abuse, oppression or unfairness, it seems to be time for organisations around the world to examine how they promote gender diversity equality, inclusion and respect in the workplace.
At Women into Leadership, we play our part by working with businesses to leverage the capabilities of their female workforce. By engaging women to identify organisational goals and lead initiatives to achieve those aims, we can create lasting improvements for any business. Simply put, companies that promote gender equality are more profitable, enjoy strong employee morale, are better able to attract
and retain the best talent and have better reputations than those that do not.
There are many links between gender diversity and corporate performance—far too many to discuss in the space of a single article. A prominent connection is the relationship between diversity of ideas, innovation, and success. With more perspectives represented in the boardroom, companies can make better decisions, identify areas for improvement or innovation and use those insights to drive profit growth.
Another big reason to emphasise gender equality in business, though, is how it plays into the development of a robust and talented workforce. A company is only as good as its people. If you are missing out on 50% of the workforce, you will not be getting the best people. The most successful companies tend to be the ones that are flagged as ‘the best places to work.’ Company culture is huge, not just in attracting top talent, but also in retaining it.
More often, gender equality is becoming a defining part of company culture. Male-dominated cultures are often plagued with uneven power structures, limited opportunities for women and sadly even harassment. Women are not interested in working in these environments, both at a business and at an industry level. They steer clear of companies with male-dominated cultures or leave when they realise the culture of these corporations. As such, companies with male-dominated cultures struggle with limited talent pools and significant staff turnover problems.
The issue doesn’t just cost businesses their female employees or candidates, either. As the link between gender diversity and corporate performance continues to be an ardent topic of conversation, more of the brightest male professionals in any given industry are taking up the promotion of gender equality. Many men understand the benefits of working with women and embracing multiple perspectives.
This dearth of talent leaves companies with male-dominated cultures with two basic options. Option one is changing the corporate and organisational culture to embrace diversity and equality. Option two is weather the storm of reputational damage, staff turnover and limited talent prospects that companies with a mediocre culture face. Option one is the only choice for any business concerned with the bottom
Companies that promote gender equality make better decisions, have happier workforces, draw better talent and waste less money on staff turnover. At Women in Leadership, we can help your business rewrite its culture to become one of these companies. Gender equality in business is a big topic right now, and it’s likely to stay at the forefront for quite some time. It just makes sense to ensure your enterprise is on the right side of the conversation.
You can reach Women into Leadership by calling 03 9982 4446.
“... (diversity) is so difficult. There is no one thing—or even a number of things—that will necessarily deliver the outcome that you want or expect. You need to be bold in experimenting.”
–Elizabeth Broderick, a senior adviser to the head of UN Women in New York
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