The Business Case For Gender Equity: Encouraging The C-Suite to Leverage This Unparalleled Economic Opportunity
Closing the gender equity gap in our lifetime has the potential to unlock huge economic opportunities for business.
Today, we are experiencing a global push for gender equality, gender equity, and diversity, within business. Social media movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and #PressForProgress, and marches and rallies like those we observed on International Women’s Day this year, have shed a positive spotlight on the benefits and economic opportunities of fostering gender equity inside business.
Given this, what can executive-level decision makers do to embrace this movement and realize the positive economic benefits of closing the gender equity gap?
Gender equity isn’t only good for society; it’s great for business too.
If we remove the social aspects of gender inequity in business, and view the issue from a strictly financial standpoint, it becomes clear a lack of gender equality inside companies has a substantial impact on financial outcomes, and therefore presents a huge economic opportunity. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates closing the gender equity gap globally could add $12Trillion in annual gross domestic product.
“The potential economic and development gains from gender equality are vast and well-documented — and yet they are currently being bypassed.” — BNY Mellon and United Nations Foundation report, Return On Equality
Expanding the numbers of women in leadership roles creates opportunities for positive economic growth.
Closing the pay gap isn’t the only way for executives to move the needle on issues related to gender equality. In the United States, women hold just 21% of senior leadership roles. There are more than a few reasons to encourage expanded female representation in these top-level positions. A 2016 paper from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, found increasing the numbers of women in C-Suite positions from zero to 30%, is associated with a 1% increase in net margin, or a 15% increase in profitability overall for the average company surveyed. A New York Times article discussing the Peterson Institute findings explained, “Companies pondering the incentives for increased gender diversity in their executive ranks may need to look no further than the bottom line.”
“Women’s leadership cannot be a ‘nice-to-have’ for business. Companies that continue to have male-dominated leadership will miss out on business opportunities unlocked by gender-balanced teams.” — Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
Increased gender equity gives businesses a competitive advantage.
The adoption of gender equity initiatives at the executive-level not only equates to overall economic growth — it has the potential to give companies a leg up on the competition.
In a recent survey conducted by HR services company Randstad US, 80% of women polled said they would switch employers if they felt another company offered greater gender equality. Of the women surveyed, only 31% feel their current employers provide women and men with equal opportunities. Companies who place importance on expanding gender equality at the executive-level experience positive economic growth, and attract top-talent, creating opportunities for long-term financial development.
A 2017 Facebook IQ survey found when brands promote gender equality on the social media platform, 79% of women and 75% of men say they feel more positive toward the company. In today’s world, individuals and employees want to work for and interact with companies committed to gender equality.
“Because gender-biased firms do not reward employees with responsibilities commensurate with their talent, they lose out to rivals that do not discriminate. Their lack of gender diversity affects the bottom line.” — Harvard Business Journal, 2016
Good mission underscores good business line.
The World Economic Forum predicts it will take 217 years to achieve global gender parity. While this figure presents a hurdle to overcome, as increasing numbers of business leaders realize the potential for global economic growth that will arrive from eliminating the gender equity gap, this outlook will shift.
In the UK, laws now require businesses of 250 or more to report wages across genders. This law, and similar laws, like those passed in Iceland, point to changing views on the issues related to gender equity and equality.
As executives continue to recognize the immense economic opportunities associated with closing the gender equity gap, and open the doors to more women in leadership roles, everyone benefits — from shareholders and the C-Suite, to employees and their families.
Taking action is difficult if executives don’t know where to start. Enter Pipeline.
The Pipeline platform uses Artificial Intelligence, to assess, uncover, and monetize closing the gender equity gap in business, thereby unlocking the potential for unparalleled economic growth. We are the key to enabling business leaders to close the gender equity gap in their companies and to realize the positive financial benefits of doing so.
Pipeline is purpose-built to help companies to increase economic outcomes through closing the gender equity gap. Get in touch to learn more.