DiversityLooking Forward to Gender Parity

Context On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day was celebrated. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth...
Cinthya Soto5 months ago78111 min

Context

On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day was celebrated. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.

Waiting for Gender Parity

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, we will have to wait for gender parity. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.

Nevertheless, there are significant pockets of progress like recognizing the problem, investing in policies to help women back into the workplace or including more female role models and mentors.

According to a McKinsey Report, Women are underrepresented in corporate leadership across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). If 2.5 million more women joined the workforce, worked about two paid hours more per week, and landed jobs in the most productive sectors, women’s contribution to GDP could unlock as much as €146 billion in annual GDP by 2030.

Central and Eastern Europe could add 146 billion euros a year to GDP by 2030 by narrowing the gender gap.
“Central Europe’s great gender opportunity,” November 3, 2021. McKinsey & Company

Another fact McKinsey discloses in another report about Diversity & Inclusion is that compared with men, senior women leaders report higher rates of burnout, chronic stress, and exhaustion. 

Burnout, stress, and exhaustion continue to affect women more than men.
The state of burnout for women in the workplace,” January 4, 2022. McKinsey & Company

There is still a huge amount of work to do to achieve gender equality around the world and this month, to celebrate International Women´s Day, the World Economic Forum has published an article about 15 strategies helping to close the gender gap around the world.

DEI programas after the pandemic

Companies have to reinvent their gender diversity programs for this Post-Pandemic world.

Boston Consulting Group has posted an article where it´s a reality that for example, US companies have serious work to do to heal the US female workforce that has been so badly fractured by the COVID-19 pandemic. And although it may be tempting to turn to traditional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, those programs were not designed to address the current challenges.

You might have heard about Great Resignation, these programs and policies are insufficient to solve the wide-scale attrition and hiring difficulties. In November 2021, 4.5 million workers quit or changed jobs—the fourth time in 2021 that the number of workers quitting set a record.

Recent surveys have found that only 35% of working mothers say that they are planning to work as they did before the pandemic. More than half of female knowledge workers have said that they are open to looking for a new job in the next year. Many women have fundamentally altered their expectations of work, employers, and lives.

In conclusion

The world has changed globally and companies need to find new ways to address the breadth and magnitude of today’s challenges. They need to understand women’s motivations and how they make decisions about jobs and careers. Companies must also reach far more women across the organization and broaden their objectives and actions.

After the pandemic, these motivations have evolved and most of the professionals, not only women, prefer to have more life-work balance over a higher salary. When money no longer buys happiness, companies must rethink their approach to DEI.

These programs and policies are insufficient to solve the wide-scale attrition and hiring difficulties of the so-called great resignation.

Nowadays, companies have to make big efforts to keep professionals within the organization, in order to avoid great attrition and lose internal talent.

There´s still a long road ahead, but it´s true that the gap to reach gender parity will be getting smaller and smaller and DEI programs must adapt to the new circumstances post-pandemic.

Take into consideration all these statements and keep in mind that a successful team is one that is diverse.

Cinthya Soto

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