Benefits of Gender Diversity
With International Women’s Day happening this month, you may have seen your news feeds filled with appreciation, support, and celebration of women everywhere. Though that hasn’t always been the case for women in the workplace, the gender gap is rapidly closing – and the economic benefits of gender diversity has become readily apparent. Study after study has proven that the inclusion of women in business environments has direct and indirect financial benefits. In the US alone, gender equality practices and policies could inject over $4 trillion into the economy in the next five years, with gender-diverse businesses in some sectors showing up to 14% higher average revenue and up to 19% higher average quarterly net profit than less-diverse counterparts.
Why does gender diversity return such large economic benefits? One reason is that prioritizing gender diversity within the workplace allows businesses to draw from a much wider talent pool. With women typically obtaining college degrees at a higher rate than their male counterparts, this opens the door to more hiring options with a wider variety of experiences and viewpoints, while still maintaining a high level of knowledge and ability. Inclusivity has been flagged as an important employment decision factor by 85% of women, so not only does gender diversity grow the available hiring pool, it also actively attracts those highly capable workers away from other companies, giving your business the marketplace advantage when seeking talent. Increased diversity of opinions and viewpoints also enhances your business’ opportunity to think outside the box while simultaneously providing a better internal representation of your external market.
Once women are on board, incorporating gender diverse policies further increases creativity, retention, productivity, and loyalty. A culture of inclusivity boosts morale and promises greater opportunities for advancement and overall job satisfaction. Women are more likely to feel heard and able to safely communicate their ideas and feedback, making them more likely to stay invested in their work with a positive mindset. Additionally, gender diverse policies addressing issues like family leave and affordable childcare can facilitate a fusion and balance of family and career (which benefits men too); under such policies, women have experienced lower stress levels during pregnancy, were up to 93% more likely to return back to the workforce within one year of giving birth, and were more likely to increase their working time by up to 17% within three years. Building a more inclusive workplace keeps your talented employees working at higher efficiency and output rates for longer, while staying happier and more loyal, contributing greater long-term ROIs on your hiring practices.
Inclusivity in the workplace has been proven to provide businesses with clear, measurable advantages and successes over less inclusive organizations. Companies are more likely to hit financial goals, generate innovations, be considered high-performing, and experience better business outcomes when diversity is present and embraced through company culture and policy. Creating a gender-diverse environment in the workplace has also demonstrated large-scale economic boosts in many ways, as well, documented in a 2016 report from the United Nations. When plotted against the gender inequality index, data consistently shows the most gender-equal countries are the most developed, have the highest income per capita, are associated with faster economic growth, and experience stronger national competitiveness. Gender diversity and inclusivity are key building blocks to business success and directly impact your business’ bottom line.
Assess your company’s diversity and inclusion levels, and learn how to enhance your current office culture and policies to produce greater business benefits, with this simple checklist from Glassdoor.