There are many compelling reasons to implement better gender diversity in workplaces and in Australia, there have been significant change in attitudes, noteworthy achievements and continued positive developments. As women continue to pull their weight and pave new paths in all sorts of roles – including leadership and executive positions in traditionally male-dominated industries – it’s now incumbent for businesses to step up to the plate and improve gender parity.
For more than 30 years, women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men, and they’ve also asked for promotions and negotiate salaries at the same rate as men. Women are also staying in jobs for just as long as the opposite sex, according to a 2018 study by McKinsey & Company.
Accounting for 49 per cent of the global workforce, only 10.9 per cent of senior executives among the world’s largest 500 companies are women.
While researchers still don’t know exactly why companies with women perform better, the benefits of women in the workplace speak for themselves.
This International Women’s Day, here are five compelling reasons it pays to have gender diversity in the workplace, and why companies that lack a strong representation of women are missing out.
Stronger business and economy results
As well as tapping into a greater pool of talent, studies show recruiting women will boost your company’s bottom line.
Research into Fortune 500 companies who had more women on their boards financially outperformed companies with less women. At a firm in which 30 per cent of leaders are women, a company could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin, compared to one with none.
Additionally, more women in the workplace could boost Australia’s economic growth by $60 billion over the next 20 years, according to a KPMG report.
More job satisfaction for all
Gender balance in the workplace is associated with positive organisational outcomes for all. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership and Watermark found having more women in the workplace improved job satisfaction for both women and men.
Employees whose companies had a higher percentage of women in their ranks rated their organisations more favourably on:
- Job satisfaction
- Organisational dedication
- Employee engagement
Women make more supportive bosses
It’s no secret employees perform better when their bosses are supportive. In one study, both sexes with female bosses said they felt their employer was more committed to their career development, compared to those with a male boss. A study by an American global analytics firm Gallup found those who work for female managers were more engaged in their workplace and suffered less burnout.
Research has also uncovered a ‘female advantage’ in having more women in the workplace, showing they tend to be more likely to use effective leadership styles.
Increased employee retention
More women in senior leadership positions creates less gender discrimination in the employment process. Organisations with more women also attract and retain more female employees, meaning an investment in women now will create more gender diversity in your workplace down the road.
Employees from more gender balanced workplaces also cited more meaningful work with their employer, including having:
- Enjoyable work
- A job that fits well with other areas of their life
- Opportunities to make a difference
Women aid creativity and improve a company’s status
Companies with women in top management positions experience what’s called ‘innovation intensity’ and produce 20 per cent more patents than teams with male leaders.
More female representation within organisations is also associated with higher status. Fortune’s most respected companies have twice as many women in senior management than less reputable companies.