In the ever-changing and evolving business world, gender diversity and inclusion initiatives are a necessary and important component to the success of any company or service firm. While most CEOs, managing partners and senior management understand this, few recognize the intrinsic value that these initiatives can add, if created and executed properly, to overall business, cultural and strategic objectives. Trellis can provide the support your company needs to maximize that value and obtain a clear return on your investment.
Here is what we know:
- Companies and firms can increase profitability simply by streamlining their gender diversity and inclusion initiative and increasing efficiencies. The number of hours expended by in-house personnel working on the initiative equals actual dollars, and the return on investment for that spend can be analyzed.
- Building a solid support and framework where women can and do succeed creates loyalty and engagement. Attracting and retaining more women becomes easier and reduces significant, measurable funds spent on recruiting and retraining. It also creates a pipeline of talent. Thousands of baby boomers will retire over the next several years and as a result, companies need a pool of women ready to advance or they will be missing half of the workforce needed.
- Increasing inclusiveness and leveraging talent results in a better-performing work force. “People perform best when they feel valued, empowered and respected by their peers”1 and when they positively view the company’s treatment of diverse colleagues. Further, women’s inclusive leadership styles reduce turnover and greatly improve the performance of diverse teams. Women can help increase performance, engagement and profitability.
- If you give women the tools they need and effectively teach them how to develop business, they will succeed. This means an increase in clients, customers, and revenue.
- Having more female leaders improves financial performance. Studies show a direct and unequivocal correlation between the number of women in management and senior leadership and higher performing organizations. The greater the number of women in those positions, the better the company performs. In fact, “gender-diverse boards have been shown again and again to have a positive impact on different measures of firm performance, especially when they include a critical mass of women,”2 with firms integrating inclusion strategies having “2.3 times higher cash flow per employee” than less diverse companies.3
- Marketplace demographics are shifting. Companies that do not properly capitalize on gender diversity will be surpassed by competitors who do integrate gender diversity into their strategic plans. Service firms are asked more often to demonstrate diversity policies and initiatives. A substantive and supported gender diversity initiative builds corporate reputation, as clients may choose not to work with a service firm that does not meet its own diversity criteria. In addition, companies whose leadership includes women will have a greater chance of getting business, especially from women business owners and entrepreneurs, numbers of which are ever-increasing.4
- Gender inclusion increases corporate innovation and creates more streamlined, efficient and effective ways to conduct business. An increase in female leadership has been tied to better and more creative problem solving and reduced conflict on boards. Gender diversity on management teams and boards has a positive impact on “organizational innovation”5, which has been found to increase the group’s collective intelligence.6
1 “This is Why Iran Could Be the Best Place To Be Born Today,” www.bbc.com/capital/story (December 11, 2015), Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte.
2 Catalyst, Why Diversity Matters (July 2013). See also, Almond, Steve, the guardian, “Gender Diversity in Leadership is Key to Business Success” (October 2, 2013) (“Companies with more women on their boards were found to outperform their rivals, with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity.”).
3 “This is Why Iran Could Be the Best Place To Be Born Today,” www.bbc.com/capital/story (December 11, 2015).
4 See generally, El-Ramly, Yasmine, Journal of Accountancy, “Women’s Initiatives: A Strategic Advantage”, www.journalofaccountancy.com (Sept. 1, 2013).
5 Organizational innovation is the “creation or adoption of a new idea or behavior.” Catalyst, Why Diversity Matters (July 2013). Catalyst, First Step: The Link between Collective Intelligence and Diversity (2014).
6 Catalyst, First Step: The Link between Collective Intelligence and Diversity (2014).