In a survey carried out by TrustRadius (2020 Women in Tech Report), men, women, and non-binary respondents shared their perspectives around the prevailing gender dynamics in the workplace. The results showed that women feel left out at work because they get less pay than their peer(or less experienced) male colleagues due to company cultures favouring men.
In key 21st century discussions, gender diversity and inclusion have been brought to the fore. As more women clamour for the shattering of the glass ceiling, organisations need to ensure they create an atmosphere where everyone would be viewed equal to compete for roles, responsibilities, and privileges healthily. Even though culture has not served the female gender well, the inherent difference between men and women should not justify not giving everyone the right to sit at the table.
Globally, organisations are coming to the consciousness of the need to give everyone (regardless of gender) a fair chance. If you merit it, then you can have it. This is the philosophy that creates a level playing ground for all. While gender diversity is the equitable or fair representation of people of different genders, gender inclusion goes beyond mere equality. It is the belief that gender stereotypes should not dictate social roles and expectations and that all services, opportunities and establishments should be open to all. Organisation leaders have a moral and strategic responsibility to promote gender diversity among executive and board positions.
For example, on the 15th of February 2021, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members made history when the General Council agreed by consensus to select Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the organisation’s seventh Director-General. This was a departure from the norm, as she is the first woman and first African to occupy the office. Organisations like UNICEF are not left behind. They nominated Henrietta Fore as its seventh Executive Director. In Nigeria, three (3) of the biggest banks are chaired by women – Ibukun Awosika (First Bank of Nigeria Limited), Osaretin Demuren (Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank), and Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR (Chairman of Access Bank Group). These are testaments to the fact that there is a conscious movement globally in diversity and inclusion to compete in the marketplace.
The last decade have seen women assume power positions in various countries. As at the time of writing this article, a few women who have risen to the top politically are:
- Kamala Harris, first female Vice President of the United States of America
- Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark
- Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand
- Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
- Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway
- Saara Kuugongelwa, Prime Minister, Namibia
- Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President, Nepal
- Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
- Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister, Serbia
- Halimah Yacob, President, Singapore
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand
- Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister, Iceland
The list goes on and on.
According to Stanton Chase, when women are included in leadership roles, companies’ profit. In a 2017 McKinsey study, it was discovered that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 21% more likely to outperform their homogenous competitors financially. This data validates the result of research from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Researchers discovered that increasing female leadership representation from 0 to 30% positively impacted a 1% increase in net margin and a 15% increase in profitability. The records have shown that women have contributed meaningfully to the financial performance, reputation capital, customer base, decision-making process and management styles of organisations, among other things.
What is sure is that gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a subject that is not going away any time soon. It is now a critical subject in how organisations hire. From the shop floor to the board room, the critical nature of making room for all qualified without exception to gender or race is vital. However, the conversation does not start and end with a discussion. From a strategic point of view, a systemic way to ensure diversity and inclusion becomes a way of life for an organisation is to formulate (or redesign) and operationalise policies that support this notion. Without concrete policies driving the D&I agenda, there is bound to be a failure in realisation.
With our over 28 years of experience working with organisations to redesign and craft policies that support, promote and brings to the forefront gender diversity and inclusion, pcl. can help your organisation seamlessly and skillfully pivot from where you are now. Our expertise in policy development, review and operationalisation is second to none. Send us an email at email@example.com today. Let the discussion began.
Head of Advisory, People Transformation
- Wikipedia/Women in power