Monday, November 21, 2016

Gender Diversity in Organizations - 3

What Really Matters to Women?

Interestingly, in a survey done by People Matters, women respondents felt that factors like ‘leadership development programs’, ‘mentoring and networking opportunities’, ‘sensitization of managers to gender’ along with some hygienic base of ‘flexible work arrangement’ and ‘assistance in the form of leaves’ are vital to retain women (these factors were chosen by more than 75% of respondents as very important). Factors like company providing ‘child care facilities at the workplace’ and ‘internal women forums’ Respondents in a survey see lack of flexible work solutions, work-life balance and lack of an inclusive work culture as important barriers hindering women from rising to the top. At the same time, they believe that training programs at the executive and leadership level, mentoring opportunities and sensitizing managers will help retain women.
While most organizations are taking care of addressing the barriers, more emphasis must be laid on what will actually ensure in retention.

Key Findings
• Lack of adequate re-entry opportunities (29%) is a problematic area. However, only 2% of organizations provide for reintegration programs.
• 85% respondents feel that leadership development programs are key retention measures for women. However, only 22% respondents claim that their organizations provide such programs.
• Mentoring and networking opportunities is another key measure to retain women, state 81% respondents. However, only 28% respondents claim that their organizations undertake this initiative.
• 62% respondents claim that having an internal women forum is an important retention factor for women. However, only 33% respondents claim that their organizations have such a forum.

Only 16% of CEOs actually have the gender inclusion agenda as part of their scorecard. The results show that organizations are not allocating their budgets, resources and targets to support the mandate on gender inclusion. Data shows that only 14% organizations have budgets and resources allocated within their organizations to drive this mandate.
However, having said that there are some companies which are doing Gender Diversity really well and go on to receive awards year after year
Citi, Deliotte, L’Oreal, P&G, Intel, Accenture, IBM, Johnson and Johnson, GE, PepsiCo, Microsoft, Ernst and Young, Novartis, PwC, have earned several awards for many years as Top Employers for Women
Dell has a unique initiative in place to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. It is working with its menfolk to make them advocates of gender diversity
“Men have the potential to be powerful ambassadors for implementing many diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as influencing other male peers to support gender initiatives.

For every Shikha Sharma, Naina lal Kidwai, Chanda Kochhar, and Indira Nooyi – we have Pooja, Shelly, and Mamta who have not been able to get equal pay for equal work or find jobs post maternity, Career break in their Careers.
I have presented a case backed up by research on Gender Diversity in Organizations, I will leave it to your judgment to reach your own conclusions!
Would love to hear your thoughts and views on Gender Diversity at workplace.
I can be reached out @rucsb on twitter.


Gender Diversity in Organizations - 2

My experience with mentoring young women suggests that women pay the motherhood penalty. Do you agree?
Women in the Workplace, a survey conducted by and McKinsey, notes that women are less likely to advance than men, hold fewer roles leading to top management positions, and are a century away from gender parity in the C-suite.
We are a century away from achieving Gender Pay Parity too. Imagine!
Women will get equal pay in 118 years according to World Economic Forum . Almost no progress on wage equality around the globe in past seven years, according to report

The Unconscious Bias
Dell discovered the unconscious bias in its male employees when it conducted one-to-one closed room interactions with them under a program called Men Advocating Real Change. The fact that many were not even aware of it was a clincher.  “There are more men in corporate leadership and if they don’t want it or drive gender diversity, this change will never happen.”
Every Men and Women should read book Own it by Aparna Jain to learn more about unconscious bias against women at workplace and stories of Indian women at workplace.
India is categorized as the “Under the 30% representation of women at workplace”
In Corporate world,
At entry level – we have 30% Women representation
By the time women reach Mid-Level – the figure drops to 15%
And at Senior Level, CEOs, and CXOs – Women representation is mere 4-5%
The pipeline of talent dries upwards and not many women can be seen in the C-suite.
What happens from entry to senior level that Women drop out of Workforce significantly?
Let us examine …..
We get married
We go on Maternity Break
We have babies
We take sabbatical
We have homes to take care of
We put Career as Second priority because Indian Women and Sacrifices is synonymous, you know
So essentially corporate world penalizes Women to have babies and to take care of homes and husbands,
Instead of Making the Workplaces Flexible, and offering Flexi-work options to both Men and Women.
Instead of offering Paternity leave, so that Men share responsibilities of babies, companies have expectations from Women not to produce babies at all. Ridiculous!

Facebook and Apple – 2 Companies and their Leaders I admire, Sheryl Sandberg and Steve Jobs.  Apple said in its diversity report that its workforce was 70% male, while Facebook reported its workforce was 69% male.
These 2 companies rolled out policy to encourage Women to Freeze their Eggs.
Facebook will pay up to $20,000 while Apple provides perks in effort to attract more women
The idea of freezing eggs was first proposed for cancer patients as chemotherapy can damage a woman’s eggs.
But companies want Diversity Targets to be met at all levels , so instead of making our Workplaces  Inclusive for Women,  let’s ask  Women to freeze eggs so that they don’t quit jobs for making  babies at peak time in their careers.
Research Findings

55% organizations admit that there is still a compensation gap between #women & men - Times Job Survey
Women feel they are less supported than men at home, (McKinsey). We don’t need a research study for that. Women experience it day in day out!

So, Working Women must learn to negotiate tactics and enroll in a negotiation course.
Damn if you do, damned if you don’t.

Diversity and Inclusion go hand in hand.
“You can get high diversity ratios but if your culture is not right then you can’t get those diverse opinions.” 
You need to make a gender inclusive culture at workplace.
So it all boils down to Culture.

Gender Diversity in Organization - 1

Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and comedy for those who think – Charlie Chaplin
I can’t help feeling both tragic and comic when I think of Gender Diversity in organizations. When I started writing on the topic – lot of thoughts emerged in my mind. Advancing Women in Corporations and Society is my passion, this is close to my heart.
However, I wasn’t sure which side should I represent – an optimistic view that says that we have done a lot for Women in organizations or pessimistic view that believes that much hasn’t been achieved for women at workplace. Or there could be a 3rd view – Realist. To see things as they are?
Recently, I attended Vipasana in the Himalayas, and there I learnt to observe reality as it is. So I will try to make an attempt to present views of a realist to you, of course with my own biases. My hobby is reading, I come across lot of research articles on women. I will share those research findings with you.
I consider myself a feminist. A Feminist is someone who believes in Women having Equal rights as Men at workplace, at home, in societies. So if you believe that Women should have equal rights and fight for it, you are a Feminist.
I come from an organization which has an established reputation for celebrating diversity. Our CEO is a woman, Ginny Rometty (IBM) –which says a lot about how much we value & celebrate gender diversity at work.
But the figures can worry across sectors and organizations and few can boast of the gender ethic as I see it. Look at these:
  • ´  Around 40% organizations anticipate more female employees at the mid-level in their workforce, however; only 5% see a rise in number of women at CXO levels reveals the latest Times Jobs study on gender diversity in India
TimesJob survey reveal that
  • ´  40% organizations are 'doing' diversity to access wide talent pool
  • 25% are diverse to improve business performance
  • 20% surveyed organizations said they are doing it to enhance corporate reputation/brand image
  • 10% are doing it for better corporate governance
  • 5% are doing it out of compulsion as they are pressurized to take it up by internal and external stakeholders
Across the world, governments and organizations are waking up to the prudence of building diverse and inclusive workplaces. In India, there is still more reason to celebrate and promote women’s hiring, as it can lead to a sizeable additional economic growth and could add $700 billion to the country’s GDP in 2025 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2015).
The report titled, The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in India, claims that this economic impact could translate into incremental GDP growth of 1.4 per cent per year for the country. Bridging gender gap would also add $12 trillion to global GDP in 2025.
For every 100 girls that even enrol for education, just about 47 or so reach the high-school level. And then, when you talk of graduation and post-graduation, the number drops to may be 15, 16. And then, not just that, it’s also believed that, even out of the workforce-ready women, about 75 to 78 per cent do not join the organized workforce.” -
There are several business benefits of gender diversity, hence many executives root for a more diverse workforce. Such teams, as per the Gallup study, perform better than single gender ones by enabling different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights. These together lead to better problem solving and superior performance. Diverse teams help companies to serve a growing diverse customer base better.
The business case of gender diversity is borne out by the fact that organizations which have higher level of women leadership, had 30 per cent higher return in equity and 34 per cent higher total return to shareholders. Not only this, across the consumer industry 70 to 80 per cent of all bank transactions are influenced by women. Women, even those without independent financial resources, influence purchase decisions, and since a large part of consumer class is women; who could understand them the best?
But of course women! The economics of all these cumulative reasons has lately led to the belief that woman talent must form an integral part of the workforce. Clearly, a large population with such veto power cannot be ignored!
Despite strong evidence on the business case of gender diversity, we are far off from assimilating women into our workforce especially   after maternity break.
Research suggests that women pay the motherhood penalty. Do you agree?

While most leaders are stressing the importance of gender diversity across various forums, Times Job study   reveals that there still lies a yawning gap, between aspiration and reality, which needs to be addressed by India Inc. for it to truly realize the potential of diversity.

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