When it comes to gender equality we’ve made significant moves in recent decades, particularly in education. But in the office, women are still consistently paid less and promoted less often than men, and are less likely to advance their careers as far as men (check out some stats here). Simultaneously, many men find it more difficult to access family-friendly policies or flexible working arrangements similar to those offered to women. As we continue to fight the good fight for fairness and equality, it might serve as an extra push for companies to know that gender equality is also an important factor in business productivity and the bottom line.
Equality Saves $$$
Employee turnover is a particularly expensive bummer, so it’s in a company’s best interests to promote retention however possible. When a company is viewed as gender equal, employees are more likely to remain with the organization. A company offering gender equality can reduce employee turnover and decrease the high expense of recruitment, time spent conducting interviews, training, etc.
Equality = Output
There’s been a lot of research that suggests a link between gender equality and better overall organizational performance. One factor is that diversity brings together varied perspectives, produces a more well-rounded analysis of the issues at hand, and spurs greater effort—all leading to improved decision making.
Equality Improves Productivity and Competitiveness
The World Economic Forum has found a strong correlation between a country’s competitiveness and how it educates and uses its female talent.
It states: “…empowering women means a more efficient use of a nation’s human talent endowment and…reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth. Over time, therefore, a nation’s competitiveness depends, among other things, on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent.”
Inequality Wastes Resources
As long as gender inequality exists, the years of investment in higher education of young women are being wasted. By balancing the scales of equality, men and women will have an equal chance to contribute both in the workplace and at home, thereby enhancing their individual well being and, in turn, that of society.
Be in the Know
While circumstances lead the majority of gender equality arguments to focus on women, we shouldn’t forget that the goal is to achieve similar outcomes for everyone. In my last post I discussed how Sheryl Sandberg, COO over at Facebook, is supporting this effort with her nonprofit organization leanin.org. It’s a great platform for sharing your stories and being part of a community dedicated to making a change.
Further, if you want to know more about how to empower yourself, your co-workers and company to promote gender equality, check out these tips that UNIFEM has for you.