Written by: Libby on October 31, 2023
Gender equality shapes so much of the world we live in: it’s a need, not an option. It’s time organisations treat it like that. Gender equality has an essential role in the success of an organisation. There are many ways it has a positive impact, from the day-to-day runnings to an organisation becoming a change maker.
Let’s start with the fact that “men hold 62% of managerial positions” compared to “just 38% of women.” Leadership shapes an organisation; a lack of gender equality creates a domino effect. These are issues that need resolution for an organisation to reach true success.
A topic that exists in tandem with gender equality is the gender gap.
The gender gap, in basic terms, is the “gap in any area between women and men in terms of their levels of participation, access, rights, remuneration or benefits.” The gender gap increases due to gender equality; one can’t improve without the other.
If women are not being hired in an equal proportion to men or promoted, or paid equally, then the gender gap will only get bigger. The gender gap must be solved, as by closing the gap, things become more equal. That equality leads to an organisation’s success, not only due to a balance in representation. But, because that balance means more varied skills, perspectives and talents.
The gender gap hurts organisations because they’re not reaching the potential that they can. An organisation limits itself by not working to close the gender gap. That’s a fact.
Solving the gender gap requires tackling underlying harmful gender norms and expectations of women – and men – in society. Stereotypes are barriers. They provide limits. They keep things as is instead of pushing for positive change.
To solve the gender gap, stereotypes must not be a factor in anyone’s capabilities. Everyone should get the same treatment to have the same opportunities, and in doing so, encourages an organisation’s success.
When an organisation lacks gender equality, that also means it has a skills gap. We all know everyone has different skills and talents, so by not having an equal amount of a key demographic, there are skills, abilities and voices not being counted. That’s skills, abilities and voices that impact an organisation’s success.
An organisation’s work output is different when a demographic is under-represented. The proof of this is the female crash test dummy. If women were ‘let in the room’ sooner, then this would have happened much quicker. Just think how different things would be!
It is not just the consideration of women that gender equality in the workplace brings. The ability to adapt, develop and achieve more success as an organisation due to the skills and talent differences that would exist via equality. Everyone has different skills and talents. Everyone is capable of something different than the person next to them. It is that which contributes to an organisation’s success. If everyone were the same, then there would be no ingenuity, no advancement. Not to be dramatic, but the world would probably cease to develop.
Organisations “with low rates of both gender and racial diversity are 29% more likely to make less money.” This statistic alone makes apparent the different skill sets that those of a different gender bring to an organisation’s success. Creating a more equal workplace via an improved hiring system can only benefit an organisation. It’s a fact, the stats are there to support.
Organisations can’t ignore gender equality. It’s too important. It’s more than the gender gap; it’s a case of ensuring equal pay, equal treatment, and equal opportunities for all genders. For example, organisations may already think they have gender equality at work, but don’t if there is a gender pay gap. As of 2023, the “overall mean and median gender pay is still significant at 18% and 26%”. Things have improved, but it still isn’t equal, and that’s the issue. It limits an organisation’s success and society’s success, as change needs to happen.
You may be thinking, “How can an organisation improve gender equality?”
Here are some ideas:
Not to be repetitive, but gender equality matters for the present and the future. Having gender equality in your organisation makes a statement on how the world should be. It does more than make an organisation successful- it becomes a change maker. That organisation is now a voice for all, an inclusive space, and championing everyone to succeed, which leads to the organisation’s success. Why wouldn’t you want that for your organisation?
Ignoring the essential role that gender equality has in an organisation’s success limits an organisation. An example of the benefit of gender equality is that “inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time”. It’s not a reach to say that an organisation’s success depends on closing the gender gap to improve equality in an organisation.
It’s not easy. No one is saying it is. But it is worth it. It’s a necessary change. A change that not only makes an organisation a success but also makes the world a better place.
So, why wouldn’t you want to invest in gender equality?
To discover more about the gender gap, and why it’s important that a change is made- download InnovateHer’s Social Impact Report here.Back to news and views