Companies with greater gender diversity in leadership roles, and with more women in highly-compensated and revenue-producing jobs, have been shown to generate a more positive experience for all their staff.
The finding comes from Willis Towers Watson (WTW), which surveyed 1.3 million employees at 39 companies included in the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI).
Firms with more women in executive and management roles were found to deliver more positive staff experiences in terms of overall career growth, pay fairness, skill building, confidence in leaders and managerial support.
For example, organisations with at least one-fifth of women among their executives scored 12 percentage points higher than those with fewer women executives when assessed for career growth opportunities.
Likewise, companies with at least one-fifth of women in executive roles scored 10 percentage points higher on measures of fair pay and likelihood to stay with the firm.
Gaby Joyner, head of talent consulting for Great Britain at WTW, said: “Companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to inclusion are continuing to see a payoff that benefits the entire organisation.
“In the current disruptive environment, greater gender diversity in leadership roles can help companies foster a much-needed employee experience of trust, support and the ability to have a voice – all of which are critical during these challenging times.”
The findings also show that companies with more women among their most highly-compensated staff have more employees who feel they are part of an innovative, market-leading organisation and have a voice in what they do.
These firms were more likely to provide health and well-being programmes for women and track retention of female clients, further demonstrating the company commitment to how employees experience the organisation.
Moreover, companies with a chief diversity officer or equivalent executive scored 11 percentage points higher when assessed for inclusion when compared with firms without this role.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it increased investor interest in social factors — the 's' in environmental, social and governance investing — like gender equality,” commented Patricia Torres, head of sustainable finance solutions at Bloomberg.
“And it's no surprise as research has shown that a diverse workforce drives innovation and performance, leading to stronger financial returns for investors.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings