Most managers, executives, and organizations agree that gender diversity is a great idea, but not all will follow through and take the steps that are necessary to improve gender parity. Here at Gild, we believe that diversity, and more specifically gender diversity, matters and we have experienced first hand the power of women in the workplace. Unfortunately, when fighting for diversity, you may need to build a compelling case that goes beyond, “it’s the right thing to do,” which is why we’ve laid out some concrete evidence and talk back points.
Helps Bottom Line
In a study done by Sara Ellison, an MIT economist, one of the reasons that workplaces tend to avoid diversity is that people are more socially comfortable when surrounded by those who are like-minded. This may seem obvious, but what she also observed was that, “higher levels of social capital are not important enough to cause those offices to perform better.” While the office may appear more cooperative, overall numbers either decrease or stay the same. According to Ellison, splitting employees evenly along gender lines could increase revenue by roughly 41%.
Furthermore, other results from this study show the downsides of an all-male or all-female office, making the case for diversity even stronger. When you think about any sports team, if the entire team played the same position -- although they could bond over shared skills and equipment -- come game day, they would not perform well. With that said, while women bring extreme value to the table, so do men, and the balance and collaboration of the two will yield the best results.
Inspires Creativity & Innovation
Another reason offices may be reluctant to diversity is the assumption that more ideas and opinions will cause a lag in decision making. However, while you may think that teams will have to work harder to come to a consensus, a study done at the Kellogg School of Management concluded that diverse groups produce better outcomes, because any tension or discomfort led to more careful processing of information.
In addition, if you work for a company that values innovation and growth, then gender diversity can inspire more creativity. Katherine Phillips, in her report on How Diversity Makes Us Smarter, argues that, “if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity.” The article also states that companies that prioritize innovation saw greater financial gains when women were part of top leadership.
Improves Company Reputation
As the workforce continues to be composed of more and more Millennials, the desire for diversity (from both men and women), will continue to grow. Young professionals want to see that companies are investing in women’s initiatives, because they understand the importance of female leadership. So, if companies want to improve their reputation and attract better talent, they’ll consider implementing more gender diversity initiatives. An environment with flexibility, mentoring, and less hierarchy will ultimately result in less turnover, as well (The Business Case for Gender Diversity).
WOMEN ARE PART OF THE TALENT POOL, SO LET’S START UTILIZING THEIR TALENTS!
The list of evidence for why gender diversity in the workplace is beneficial goes on and on, and here at Gild, we want to support you in turning this idea into a reality. Check out our corporate workshops here.