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In today’s business landscape, gender imbalances persist as an issue, as most companies continue to be male-dominated. Numerous studies have consistently affirmed this disparity, highlighting that women face challenges when commencing new roles and throughout their tenure in various companies. Such inequalities manifest in several ways, including biases in hiring, career advancement opportunities, and compensation.
UK statistics indicate a 14% gap in median gross hourly earnings between full-time male and female employees across all industries. Another prominent issue is underrepresentation of women in leading positions. Statistics show that, on average, because of the gender disparity in promotions, men tend to end up holding 60% of manager-level positions against women’s 40%. And as we go up the career ladder, this gap only grows with each level.
Creating inclusive environments that ensure equal opportunities is key to realizing the untapped potential of women in driving innovation and growth for businesses on the global stage. Let’s take a look at why this is the case.
Promoting gender diversity translates to improving business performance
It’s not exactly recent news that gender diversity promotes innovation in individual companies and across industries as a whole. McKinsey’s predictions state that global GDP could increase by $13 trillion by 2030 if the global workforce becomes equally gender-diverse.
A big part of operating a business is learning how to operate in times of economic upheaval. The more diverse your team is, the greater the chances that your company will be able to survive in a variety of different circumstances. Having a mix of genders, ages and nationalities means you have access to different perspectives and approaches born from various experiences. Studies indicate that companies with a more diverse gender composition of their teams are more adaptable, showing a 48% positive difference in performance.
Drawing on personal experience, I am confident that having a multinational and highly diverse team is one of the most important factors that helped my company survive difficult times during the 2022 market turmoil. We found out a long time ago that a diverse gender composition in leadership positions and the team overall creates a better decision-making process.
Previous research suggests that women hold an advantage when it comes to taking initiative and motivating others compared to their male counterparts. Add in a greater drive for self-improvement and achieving results. We see that women are natural problem-solvers, well-suited for leadership and keeping all team members pointed in the same direction – towards new achievements.
For these reasons, a diverse team can be a tremendous asset to a company during tumultuous periods, as both genders bring their own perspectives and ideas to the table. With distinct mentalities and approaches, team members can tackle challenging situations from various angles, leading to a wider range of potential solutions. This comprehensive approach allows the team to navigate through adversity with greater ease.
Creating a respectful corporate culture to drive gender equality
With all of the above in mind, here comes a big question: what can businesses do to promote a culture that acknowledges and respects gender diversity?
Well, there are several approaches that can be taken here, the first of which is to create a comfortable environment in your company for both genders. Any and all violations of male/female rights and manifestations of harassment must be excluded so as to build up the most comfortable conditions possible for people to work in.
For example, in my company, we have paid a lot of attention to the widespread awareness of equal opportunities for both women and men since our foundation. Those who cannot follow these principles embedded in our corporate culture leave our company or are not hired.
Moreover, we have made a point to periodically conduct training sessions on building the right diversity environment. Such sessions emphasize the significance of creating an inclusive workplace that values and harnesses the diverse perspectives and talents of all genders. This ensures fair representation and a broader talent pool, fosters innovation and enhances the overall success of your organization.
If you wish to create a specific attitude that would stay prevalent across all levels of your company, you, as a founder, must showcase it through personal example. Founders and top management must treat everyone equally, regardless of their gender, and maintain regular communication that sexism and unequal treatment stand against your corporate culture.
Importance of maintaining gender diversity when hiring C-Level executives
Through education and training, it’s important to create an equal attitude among the entire team towards women and men when hiring new people for any position, including senior ones. As a business leader, it is necessary to instill an understanding among all members of your organization that there are no positions inherently male or female in nature. They are all suitable for both genders.
My company has an equal number of women and men in leadership positions. We have been closely monitoring and doing our best to maintain this ratio because a diverse workforce composition plays a big part in our success.
Furthermore, we support many initiatives related to the correct positioning of our female leadership both in the company and externally. Our executives are regularly submitted as candidates for women-oriented awards and participate in leading events as speakers.
Creating an inclusive culture is key to the success of your business
Having a diversified team that does not discriminate due to gender or other factors is invaluable in creating a business that can adapt quickly and effectively to the constantly shifting circumstances of modern-day businesses. Inclusivity is crucial if you wish to succeed in your endeavors.
A multi-gender team provides a diverse pool of perspectives, experiences, and talents, which serves to drive innovative problem-solving. By embracing the presence of both men and women in its workforce, your company can gain access to a wider range of solutions, ultimately enhancing its ability to sustain long-term success.