There are many benefits to having a gender-equal workplace. Among these benefits, it allows organizations to hire and retain top talent, build a healthy organizational culture, and increase competitiveness by being a better representation of the customer base.
A gender-equal workplace is one where all employees are treated equally regardless of gender; have equal access to rewards and opportunities; receive equal pay for equal work; and have equal access to all organizational roles.
Despite the many benefits of a gender-equal workforce, the reality is that there continues to be a pay gap across many industries and a pattern of women being underrepresented in higher-level jobs. For organizations that are not yet gender-equal, it’s a good idea to be proactive about working towards this goal to avoid losing talent and customers to competitors.
Why is gender equality in the workplace important?
Diversity and inclusion are directly connected to corporate performance. Gender equality benefits everyone, not just women. It stimulates economic growth and development, has a positive impact on the health and education of a community, and plays a part in creating stronger institutions.
Recognizing this importance, in 2015 the United Nations member states adopted gender equality as part of their integrated plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Not surprisingly, gender equality was listed as number five on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG). Further, it’s noted that gender equality will directly affect all seventeen adopted goals.
How does Gender Equality Impact the Way an Organization Functions?
The Women in the Workplace Study highlights four key benefits that companies experience with gender diversity:
- Better business performance
- An increased talent pool
- Increased innovation that provides better customer insight
- Favorable consumer responses to social responsibility
Better business performance
When women, or any employee for that matter, are treated fairly they tend to perform better and have a higher overall rate of satisfaction. They are also more committed to their organization and their role. This in turn translates to better levels of retention and directly impacts the company’s profits. When an employee is treated with respect and dignity for the quality work that he or she is doing they feel valued and will continue to give more.
An Increased Talent Pool
Organizations that focus on closing equality gaps are able to attract talent from a much larger base. In the current, competitive environment, the bar is set higher and the competition to be the best makes it all the more challenging and important to attract top talent.
Companies are better off if they are able to attract more potential candidates for top-level jobs. When you increase the talent pool, you up the stakes and the competition sharpens everyone along the way.
Further, hiring the right person for the job from day one leads to drastic improvements for employee retention. The more candidates you have in your hiring pool, the less likely you will be to simply higher someone because they were the best of a small group. Instead, knowing there are more options available, you will continue to search until the perfect fit presents him or herself.
Increased Innovation that Provides Better Customer Insight
The more your executives, management, board of directors, and employees represent your consumer base, the more insight you will have into your customer’s pain points. Every employee you bring into the organization brings with them a unique way of seeing the world. The more you can expose your organization to multiple viewpoints (gender, culture, generational, etc.), the more innovation you will experience.
Favorable Consumer Responses to Social Responsibility
Company culture is shaped by the diversity that is brought in by leadership. With the ever increasing influence of the internet, that culture is seen by consumers who more educated, knowledgeable, and socially responsible where they spend their money.
At ISS we understand the importance of gender equality in the workplace and make sure it is a value that is lived out at every level of our company. If you have questions about how we can make your team stronger, contact us for some best practices and strategies.
Join us next week as we discuss the ways we can all work towards gender equality.