According to a 2020 study from McKinsey & Co, 87% of companies are now committed to gender diversity, compared to their previous study in 2012, when this figure was just 56%. While the dedication towards gender diversity within businesses has significantly increased, it is important for businesses to realise specifically how gender diversity can benefit them and why it is wise to invest in it.
The benefits of gender diversity
Gender diversity can benefit companies in many ways. One key benefit of gender diversity is that it can help a company create a wider talent pool within their workplace. The diversity enables different viewpoints, insights and ideas which can then lead to an increase in creativity and innovation and can help improve problem-solving and even increase business performance. Additionally, having a wide variety of insight from a vast range of individuals can help a company to understand and better communicate with consumers, who are likely to also be incredibly diverse.
Gender diversity can help to increase positivity in the workplace, which may help to create a better workplace culture. Keeping employees well and happy is essential for any business, given that they are a company’s best asset. Employees working in a diverse workplace are more likely to communicate ambitions, self-promote and progress in their careers. This increases loyalty to the company, and thus staff retention. Alongside this, staff may recommend the company to friends and family, which has the potential to improve company reputation too.
How can businesses increase gender representation?
Gender diversity is not just about ensuring a workplace has a mixture of males and females. It is important that companies provide safe environments for all genders, including men, women, transgender people and non-binary individuals. There are a number of ways in which a company can help ensure that their workplace is inclusive.
Firstly, it is important that gender stereotypes within the workplace are challenged. Within this, corporate literature, policies and job advertisements should be checked, to ensure that they encourage inclusiveness, and do not reinforce gender stereotyping. Additionally, within a business, there should be ways in which all employees can safely communicate their opinions and ideas, to help amplify a vast range of voices. This can help empower employees and help ensure there is a fair way for all employees to have their opinions heard, in a safe way. Policies, such as anti-harassment and anti-bullying are also vital within the workplace, so that staff know that any unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated. Training about the importance and need for diversity and inclusiveness could also be a good way to increase knowledge about the subject.
Ensuring representation of gender diversity in senior and leadership positions is also important, so that those making crucial decisions within the business, also work in a diverse team. This means that decisions can be made using a wide range of people, with different opinions and insight being taken into consideration. Finally, having fair promotion policies in place can further help to improve gender diversity and inclusion in a business. This is because it can help to ensure that everyone has a chance to be promoted and that there is no bias, for example, particular genders being prioritised for promotion opportunities.
Although it seems that there has been a positive change in terms of gender diversity, there is still a lot of work to do. There are so many benefits of gender diversity for companies and workers and it seems to be something which companies are starting to take notice of. Hopefully, this will continue and more businesses will begin to see the invaluable benefits that this kind of inclusion can bring.
Zoe Lightowler likes to express herself through writing, baking and anything crafty! Being chronically ill herself means she is very passionate about raising awareness of long-term illnesses, especially those which may be invisible to others. Zoe also loves animals, comedy films and taking care of her many house plants.