The importance of gender diversity in the workplace cannot be overstated. It is not only a laudable pursuit but also a good business sense. As per Gallup, hiring a demographically diverse workforce can increase a company's financial success. Different ideas and innovation are encouraged in a varied and inclusive workplace, which improves performance, procedures, and production. Despite this, many businesses are yet to realise the benefits, either due to lack of awareness, or industry domination by one gender.
For example, developing nations dominate the lowest 20% of the Global Gender Gap Index in 2020, implying that women's labor force participation remains low compared to men.
What does gender diversity mean?
It usually refers to a balanced gender ratio, although it can also apply to people of non-binary genders. Thus it can be defined as a fair representation of all genders at any workplace. It includes the following parameters:
- Everyone should feel safe to pursue the same job without any discrimination
- People across teams, even in different locations, should be able to collaborate freely
- The same level of fairness and respect for everyone
- Same access to education and training to everyone in the organization
As per Mckinsey report, since 2015, the progress towards gender equality has been marginal even though it is globally recognized that gender diversity is beneficial for an organization’s long-term growth. So let us understand in 5 simple ways how gender diversity can be promoted within the existing corporate structure:
Identify and eradicate the biasness
Men and women have historically clustered in various job groups. For example, IT roles are dominated by men, whereas women dominate nursing jobs. As a result, gender assumptions are created. For instance, men frequently occupy IT occupations, and women taking the same jobs are not expected. Once identified, management can work organically to remove such biases through training, gender-neutral language, and avoiding prevalent gender stereotypes.
Reduce gender pay gaps
Global Gender Report 2021 by World Economic Forum benchmarks 156 countries across the globe, and there are significant differences across and within geographies in every sector. It is reported that women earn 19% less than men for the same job. While many factors contribute to the gender pay gap, discrimination is frequent. Organisations have the power to control and eliminate such disparities in the workforce entirely.
Focus on outcome irrespective of gender
Unconsciously, women employees strive to deliver more output to be taken seriously for top positions. This is a common occurrence in corporate culture, which is blissfully ignored. Management needs to focus more on achieving the goal rather than identifying the person who accomplishes it. It is crucial to credit the performers who have benefitted the entire organization irrespective of gender.
Creating a collaborative environment
To generate positive gender diversity at the workplace, organisations must invest in an ecosystem to nurture this specific cultural element. Allowing flexible working hours, enabling a growth mindset with continuous training, specially curated DEI initiatives, etc., can foster an environment that rewards purely based on job performance.
Investment in the hiring process
In order to create a thriving organizational culture, it is critical to consider diversity, equity, and inclusion. One highly effective strategy to promote more diversity in the workplace is hiring a certain number of women candidates, especially in male-dominated roles like in product, tech, or IT. Subtle messaging should also be considered while making the entire hiring process more inclusive, including posting gender-neutral job descriptions, simplifying the job requirements to encourage a broader pool to apply, and finally having a diverse interview panel.
It has been reported that companies that are diverse in terms of gender and ethnicity outperform their competitors/peers. Those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than corporations in the fourth quartile, according to a Mckinsey study of over 1,000 large companies in 15 countries. On the organizations' executive teams that performed best in terms of profitability and diversity, there were more women in line roles than in staff jobs. This interesting finding further reaffirms that gender equality or diversity is advantageous to individuals and overall business growth