How ready is your gender diversity strategy for a modern workplace?

Organizations that provide equal opportunity for women in the workplace, reap multiple benefits. Research clearly shows that organizations with a healthy ratio of women leaders have a 10.1% vs a 7.4% return on equity than organizations with a largely male board. HR in organizations often push the point that a right gender diversity strategy can lead to increased employee effectiveness, better staff retention, improved morale and increased market responsiveness.
However, when it comes to actual implementation of this strategy, data gives a different picture. A recent research by Pink Ladder showed that over 70% women professionals believe gender discrimination still exists in the workplace and that leadership roles for women are far too few with only 9.5% of them being placed in leadership roles within their organizations.
Building Gender equality into your organization strategy
Organizations should aim to bridge this gap and ensure that gender isn’t considered a hurdle. A healthy gender diversity strategy will also lead to an increasing access to a larger talent pool. We believe, organizations can consider some of the below steps:
Device a Holistic gender diversity program
There are many examples of global companies that value gender diversity and are relatively free of discrimination. These organizations are no doubt, more productive and profitable verses their peers. A holistic gender diversity program should involve male champions for women, high potential women leaders, business leaders, external consultants and should be sponsored by the senior leadership of the organization. This ensures that inputs from all key stakeholders is sought and devised for better ROI. Such a program leads to greater women employee satisfaction, reduced employee turnover. By leveraging unique employee skills and perspectives, companies can increase creativity and innovation within the organization.
Research shows that that most women professionals (at 71%) would actively seek employment in organizations that support gender diversity. By implementing a few key measures, organizations can ensure they are attracting the widest range of talented women professionals.
Communicate your gender diversity program effectively
A reputation for respect for gender diversity enhances an employer’s business. Pink Ladder research shows that over 50% of women professionals were unaware of the employer’s gender diversity program and policies they could leverage. Companies who have a good program in place need to ensure that it is communicated clearly to their women employees so that they can become good brand ambassadors for future talent sourcing and also in the retention of existing talent pool. A good marketing consultant who understands gender diversity could be a good partner to help organizations improve their communication efforts. It can be used as an attraction strategy to source potential women candidates.
Standardize pay basis role not gender
Research shows that close to 50% of women professionals receive less pay then their male counterparts. Use industry salary benchmarking and salary surveys to standardize pay basis role and experience and not basis gender. This should also be published in a transparent manner to all employees through company’s internal portals. This data should be reviewed and updated periodically.
Expert driven gender diversity strategy sessions
Senior leadership within the organization should have focused sessions with gender diversity experts and consultants to arrive at the right answers to the following questions:
·        How can a clear focus on gender diversity increase access to quality women talent pool?
·        The impact of gender diversity on innovation
·        The links between gender diversity to productivity and profitability
·        Building the right support system of coaches, mentors and other experts who can help them nurture their women talent better
Organizations who will have a clear aim to close the gender gap and have a more diverse workplace, will continue to be more profitable, engaging and productive in the new normal.
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