When organizations set goals and aspirations related to diversity, equity and inclusion we see this reflected in their mission and vision statements.
These goals are quite often ambitious. To their credit, many organizations may very well have good intentions in terms of their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, however, the challenges in achieving their outcomes often rests in the organization’s abilities to identify the what and the how.
What do you truly want to accomplish and how will you do that effectively?
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The WHAT:
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) it will take 100 years for the gender gap to close and for there to be gender equality.
Recent research validates that the gender gap is alive and well, with the pay gap equally existent. To give context to the slow pace of change, in 1999, the number of female CEOs of fortune 500 companies was 2%, today that number is 6.6% or 33 women, despite more women in the workforce than ever, and women holding higher levels of education than their male counterparts.
Women, women of colour and Latina women have been the hardest hit by COVID 19 and exiting the workforce at alarming rates.
In some cases, COVID-19 has increased the burden women have always had of balancing work and life, and compounded with the stay-at-home restrictions it can be difficult, overwhelming and challenging to raise a family and work from home. In other cases, women in service industries or Pink Ghettos – industries dominated by women, were closed indefinitely due to COVID-19, ensuring these most vulnerable women exited the workforce.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —The HOW:
We must begin to seriously ask, as leaders and as organizations:
- How are we supporting this important segment of our population and workforce?
- How will we ensure they have the tools and skills to re-enter the workforce stronger and better than pre-COVID 19?
Some key statistics, according to an RBC report, amid the pressures of the pandemic:
- Men are picking up jobs at thrice the rate that women are leaving the workforce
- 20,000+ women left the workforce between Feb-Oct, 2020
- 68,000 men joined the workforce during this same time
The report stated that the pandemic and the demands of raising a family are most likely to blame for women exiting from the workforce.
On the contrary, men are benefiting from growth in the fields of technology, science, and engineering — fields they already dominate in to begin with.
So, should women and leaders accept this fate or should they revisit their DEI goals and vision and double down on an important resource — women?
According to Harvard Business Review, women have been better leaders, prior to and during the pandemic:
The report concluded that:
“Perhaps the most valuable part of the data we’re collecting throughout the crisis is hearing from thousands of direct reports about what they value and need from leaders now. Based on our data they want leaders who are able to pivot and learn new skills; who emphasize employee development even when times are tough; who display honesty and integrity; and who are sensitive and understanding of the stress, anxiety, and frustration that people are feeling. Our analysis shows that these are traits that are more often being displayed by women.”
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion —WHAT’s Next:
Continuous investment in developing this important talent pool with proven successful programs and diversity, equity and inclusion training that empower women and develop their confidence and skills is not a nice-to-have, but a must have today.
At Corporate Class Inc., our Live Online Women in Leadership Masterclass is a two-day program that is simply transformational.
Because the program is unique in tackling some of the biggest challenges’ women face — bias, the imposter syndrome, the confidence gap, work-life balance and more.
The program is interactive and highly experiential, allowing each participant to dig deep into who they are, what they want their brand to be, how they make a first (and many other) impressions and teaches them the tools and skills to be confident, compassionate and to lead with executive presence and focus.
Why should organizations invest in a diversity, equity and inclusion program for women?
Given that women remain scarce in the C-suite and in the workforce, and that number has diminished due to race, culture and ethnicity – organizations who want to be global leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion must invest in the development of the most critical talent in their organizations and society.
Women are shaped by unique experiences and intersecting identities, so it is important to recognize and address the divergent challenges and barriers they face in a safe space to share stories, experiences and learn from one other. Women experience a journey of self-discovery and reflection, resulting in strengthened performance and confidence.
Real growth. Real change. Real development. Real Return on Investment.
Ready to step into your power with confidence?