Gender diversity has been at the forefront of the workplace equality conversation for a number of years. Recently, McKinsey & Company released its detailed 2019 Women in the Workplace Report.
The Women in the Workplace Report found that while the percentage of women in senior leadership roles has grown over the last five years, there remains a roadblock to male/female business parity in the lower ranks. It is still far less common for a woman to receive that important first promotion.
The report states that for every 100 men promoted/hired to a first managerial job, only 72 women are given that same opportunity. The result of this “broken rung” on the corporate ladder means women—and especially women of color—are underrepresented at every level. The report states that without significant change to recruiting, hiring, and promoting practices, the meaningful shifts that have taken place in the last five years cannot be sustained.
Why is it important to have gender diversity in your workforce? Even if employees don’t understand the importance of gender diversity, most do see the value in a workplace culture which values equity, fairness and mutual respect. Research has shown that the factors that most significantly influence rates of employee satisfaction and retention are manager support, leadership accountability, fairness, and opportunity. Promoting and maintaining a culture of equity and respect on the job makes employees feel valued and reduces turnover.
The McKinsey & Co report outlines five steps companies should take to enhance their gender diversity and get more women in the hiring pipeline at all levels. Those steps are:
- Set targets to hire/promote more first-level female managers
- Require a certain number of women be interviewed for open positions
- Utilize unconscious bias training for interviewers
- Outline clear evaluation parameters
- Give more women the experiences needed to qualify for managerial jobs
For more information on this plan to improve gender diversity, see the Women in the Workplace Report.
Most companies recognize the importance of workforce diversity, and many have initiatives to create and sustain a more diverse workforce. If your business is looking to diversify its workforce, examining and revising your recruiting practices should be your first step. Setting and establishing these policies and practices can be complicated. The experienced employment law attorneys at Simon | Paschal, PLLC can help your organization create a plan to put your organization on a path toward greater gender diversity.