The world over, there has been a wave of social consciousness, and an emphasis on a culture of inclusion and diversity. Women in positions of power and authority is a sight that is becoming the norm, rather than just a token gesture adopted in the workplace. Gender diversity has evolved from an act of tokenism by corporations, into an actual legitimate business strategy that reaps economic rewards.
The merits of gender diversity are well known, organisations with a diverse workforce outperform those which are less diverse and are also able to attract a greater pool of talented professionals to sustain growth.
Despite the unequivocal data supporting the link between a diverse workforce and company performance, organizations are still failing to create and obtain a diverse workforce, the reason for this are many, but mainly a lack of leadership from the top.
Here are four reasons why organizations should have a gender diversity policy in place:
1. Building A Positive, Progressive Brand
We live in an age of social awakening, the era of the millennials and Generations Y and Z is here. And they demand a change from the status quo. Businesses that are constituted, from top to bottom, of middle-aged men in most instances, are a relic of a 'dinosaur era'—a conservative brand still stuck in the past.
The future is demonstrably open, interconnected and yes diverse, and the perception of your customer base can make or break your bottom line. According to prominent global surveys, businesses with the most positive brand perception have, above all, a higher proportion of strong female representation. People make conscious efforts to support businesses that embrace diversity—and represent the values that they hold and in a social media age they can boycott those who do not.
2. Diversified Business Insights
Men and women are different. That’s a fact. Biologically, physically, and, more importantly, how they conduct business. Combining the varying and often diverse viewpoints and ideas from both men and women can only yield positive outcomes for your business. The value of a fresh set of ideas, and a different approach to running a business or project cannot be put in figures. A contemporary example of the impact of gender diversity is Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's CEO—who grew the company’s revenue by over 80% through the course of her tenure, with innovative, often unconventional methods.
3. Tap Into A Wider Demographic
Do not dismiss an entire half of the world’s population. People, are more likely to support a business they can relate to. A business lacking in diversity effectively shuns a significant part of its potential customer base and does not come across authentic. Hire women, put them in positions of authority, let them be at the frontline of subsequent marketing campaigns, and you will achieve a more diversified customer base.
4. Improve Bottom Line (By more than a bit)
A study by Gallup, the leading global business analysts, shows that businesses that diversify, more often than not, out perform those that are significantly homogenous with workplace diversity.
Retail businesses have 14% higher revenue, and in the hospitality sector, the difference in comparable revenue shoots up to 19%. This solidifies gender diversification as more than just a trendy business decision. Rather, consciously hiring and retaining female talent is a smart business investment—one that is obvious on the yearly balance sheets.
Gender diversity is a concept that all businesses, at least those looking to survive and thrive, must adopt as a hiring principle. The idea of hiring women, and women holding powerful positions should not be seen as radical or disruptive—it should be seen as just another smart business decision.
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