Encouraging Gender Diversity in Business


The corporate world is giving serious thought to the notion of boosting their female talent pool and encouraging women onto boards of various companies. Achieving gender diversity, according to a recent research conducted by Catalyst, is essential for the success of businesses across the globe.
In a sector where gender diversity continues to be a problem, with not enough companies making tangible efforts to promote women to high-profile positions, the idea of Fortune 500 companies catering to women as officers and board directors is being taken very positively. The report stated that companies with the highest female representation tend to financially outperform those with a lower female body.

The Global Outlook on Achieving Gender Diversity

In US alone, only 14% to 17% of companies have women on their boards. The situation is all too similar in UK where there are only a handful of women in corporate leadership positions. The lack of progress in this regard can impact the competitiveness of US based companies as some other countries like Norway, Spain and France have introduced mandatory quota for female representation. Even European Union is not far behind, having proposed a 40% objective.
Through the research, Catalyst evaluated the effectiveness of encouraging gender balance in the workplace and identified key strategies for addressing workplace barriers. In order for gender diversity to work it is necessary that a clear commitment is made by the leaders of the corporate world. The need right now is to plan out an implementation with a strong focus on accountability, to ensure that talented women advance up the corporate ranks.

Participation of Major Corporations in Breaking the Barriers

The drive for change needs to come from the top, as organization leaders are the ones who can create and reinforce strategies on all levels. In male-dominated industries it is even more essential to break down the barriers and increase women representation. Senior management in such industries must make it a top priority to develop women across their companies and include them in operational roles.
This is not about being nice to women as Kathy Waller, VP of Coca-Cola Company explained, "70% of purchasing decisions are made by women and we need to look like the marketplace we serve." For the gender initiative to be successful, global strategies need to be created to suit local need with Fortune 500 companies and other major corporations across the world becoming the frontrunners and taking significant steps by providing mentors and developing programs to boost their female talent pool.
The correlation between gender diversity and corporate performance cannot be denied. At the end of the day, companies need to look at the bigger picture and realize that it’s not about what's good for women or men, but about everyone winning, businesses expanding and economy the prospering.



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