The importance of diversity and inclusion for every American company has never been greater. As American demographics shift, companies in all markets and sectors need to appreciate the value of gender equity in the workplace. While the ideal of 50/50 equality across every level of every company may not be feasible due to differences in career preferences and individual choices, human resource leaders can still improve gender equity in their companies at every level of the organization. These improvements not only create a more welcoming atmosphere to employees, partners, and customers, but also boost performance and profitability.
Help Your Team Recognize the Challenges Facing Equity
A report from the McKinsey Global Institute found that men outnumber women at virtually all levels of corporate hierarchy in America. CEOs that recognize the value of gender equity in the workplace report that confronting unconscious biases is a valuable step toward more equitable workplaces. Many men in the modern workforce do not acknowledge or realize the challenges women face in corporate America. Incorporating educational materials, mentoring, and other initiatives in the on-boarding and hiring processes can help employees at all levels confront these issues more intimately.
Consider Better Family-Oriented Policies
Companies can also do their part to create a more gender-equitable work environment by making the choice to have a family easier for women. Traditionally, men never had to concern themselves with taking time off to have children, and women who chose to have children generally had a harder time developing their careers due to the required time off, medical issues, and the endless other concerns of raising children. Company leaders can make more compassionate vacation and paid time off policies so women don’t face indirect penalties for having families. Companies that have attractive family-related benefits are more likely to attract top female talent in any hiring pool as well.
Keep Diversity and Inclusion a Priority Throughout the Company
Diversity, inclusion, and gender equity do not stop at the hiring office. Human resource professionals must consider the financial impact of diversity and inclusion and recognize that a diverse hiring pool offers the widest range of experiences, backgrounds, and potential assets to the company. Gender equity across all levels of American corporate hierarchy is an attainable goal, and companies that embed diversity and inclusion at every level are making the most progress.