What happens—if you say ‘gender diversity
‘ to a room crowded with male CEO’s.
I’ve never done it, so I don’t know for sure. But I bet that while a few enlightened individuals may nod sagely and engage you in a discussion about how their company is trying to encourage a higher proportion of women in their top jobs, many will look for a convenient pot plant to hide behind.
I mention this having stumbled across a Washington-based organization called WEConnect International. WEConnect International describes itself as a ‘global non-profit (organization) that facilitates economic growth by increasing opportunities for women-owned business to succeed in global value chains’.
You will be taken aback by some of the statistics on this page of WEConnect’s website—http://weconnectinternational.org/buying-for-impact#
—including the fact that women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food but earn only 10% of the income and 1-2% of the property.
I was also struck by the fact that there are approximately 187 million women entrepreneurs worldwide who own at least some 32-39% of all private businesses in the formal economy.
Elsewhere, I read that women hold only 3% of CEO positions and only 15% of board seats among Fortune 500 companies. The so called ‘glass ceiling’ is clearly made of tougher stuff than commentators 30, 20 or even 10 years ago anticipated.
If I worked with your company and asked a few obvious questions about the profile of women within the organization like…
- what percentage of the workforce do women represent?
- what distribution is there of women over the different echelons with the company?
- how easy is it for women to have families but retain their ‘position’
…and so on, would you be able to answer them readily?
And perhaps not.
Whichever it is, and a bit like your policy on the environment and your Corporate and Social Responsibility in general, you had better take an interest in pulling together fair and cogent policies for women in your company over the next few years because (mark my words) …
…your suppliers, your shareholders—and most importantly, your customers, will be watching with interest.
Tags: company convenient pot plant corporate and social responsibility customers different echelons diversity economic growth encourage fair and cogent policies gender gender diversity glass ceiling hide higher proportion of women increasing opportunities male ceo percentage of the workforce policy on the environment responsibility shareholders suppliers top jobs weconnect international women women entrepreneurs women represent women-owned business
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