Organizations Struggle To Unlock The True Power Of Women As Their Inclusion Efforts Are Missing The Point
Things are looking bright for women's empowerment, at least on the surface. In the beginning of the year we went to the World Economic Forum in Davos and saw an impressive line-up of the world's leading companies strut their diversity & inclusion efforts. Women's empowerment has finally broken through the glass ceiling - equality has become a business critical goal for most big businesses.
This makes sense, PwC's 'Women In Work Index' shows that improving female participation in work could boost OECD GDP by US$6 trillion. Needless to say that companies are losing out on both talent and performance if they are not addressing the current imbalances.
Most companies have been quick to act on external factors affecting women's empowerment.
One of the common ways to tackle inequalities is to address what happens in the working environment, such as introducing flexible working hours, removing unconscious bias from the recruitment process and equal pay.
It makes sense to create a place to work that reflects different working preferences and lifestyles. Organisations are waking up to the benefits of flexible working for all employees. Flexible workers take less leave and are more productive, a survey reveals.
However, a recent study by Deloitte found that organisation's inclusion efforts may not be addressing one of the biggest challenges - everyday bias. Most professionals believe their organisation fosters an inclusive workplace and provides opportunities to connect with others from diverse backgrounds; yet, many feel they frequently experience and witness bias, often to the detriment of their productivity, engagement, well-being and overall happiness.
More than two-thirds of respondents say experiencing and/or witnessing bias has had a negative impact on how engaged they feel at work and on their productivity overall.
"Our survey clearly reveals that even well-intentioned organizations have much work to do to close the gap between overarching goals and the actual experiences of their workforce," said Joe Ucuzoglu, Deloitte US CEO.
Scratching the surface.
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