Gender Diversity in the Work Force
At Martin Hood, we firmly believe in having a gender-diverse work force. That said, our firm is not exempt from having a higher number of women leave their careers for one reason or another before they have reached a top position.
There is a lot of information available that highlights the benefits of prioritizing gender-diversity in the workplace. Just a taste of that information is listed below:
- All demographic data suggests that women are among our nation’s fastest-growing workforce and consumer base.
- Recruiting from a diverse pool of candidates means a more qualified work force.
- Fortune 500 companies that rank in the top quartile for women representation on their boards outperform the bottom quartile by more than 53 percent on return on equity.
- Women bring a lot to the table: multi-tasking, customer-centricity, collaborative approaches to problem solving, listening skills, teamwork, empathy and the human connection, to name a few qualities.
Despite this information, data indicates that both the number and the percentage of women fall off dramatically in the higher ranks of organizations. One survey indicated that on average, women made up 53 percent of the entry-level employees but only 19 percent of the executives in the ‘C-suite’. Logic dictates that it would benefit a company (improved financial performance, increased innovation, and enhance company reputation) to do what it takes to keep women in the workplace. Many companies are looking at how to do just that. Programs include:
- Reverse mentoring – pairing top leaders with female mentors who have been identified as future leaders
- Modified work arrangements – telecommuting, reduced hours, flextime’
- Working women support groups
One of Martin Hood’s very own staff members, Kaci Isaksen, pioneered a working women’s group at the firm, where discussions range from talking about challenges to generating inspiring ideas to supporting each other.
Regardless of the initiatives you might take in your place of business, the key to increasing gender diversity is a commitment from the top. Start now, take a look at your current talent development model, and focus on what changes can be made to produce measurable and significant change.