A diverse workforce brings varied perspectives that contribute to an organisation’s prosperity, yet only one in five C-suite leaders is a woman and fewer than one in 30 is a woman of colour, according to a new study from LeanIn.org and McKinsey.
Overcoming this disparity is critical to the success of top companies. In fact, investment analytics firm MSCI ESG Research found that companies with strong female leadership generated a higher return on equity versus those without and suffered fewer governance-related controversies.
INSEAD alumnae from the INSEAD Women in Business Global Club and National Alumni Associations weighed in on what women need to thrive in the workplace, as well as how companies can attract, retain and leverage top talent to cultivate a more diverse workforce. Based on their input, here are eight tips for companies.
1. Assess the situation
2. Create a supportive culture
3. Focus on inclusivity
4. Mentor female talent
5. Offer training
6. Review and revise policies
7. Measure progress and correct
Use metrics to measure your progress and address any setbacks or challenges that occur. One way to do this is by engaging employees in unconscious bias training and giving them an Implicit Association Test (IAT), which can make them aware of any existing bias—and take steps to correct them.
8. Foster female networks
Launch a female network initiative that offers mentorship of women by women. Who you know and who supports your next career move matters, because someone convinced of your performance needs to suggest your name for a job at the right time. Networks offer women a chance to make connections and discuss career goals and achievements.
Editor’s note: To gather input for this story, the WIBGC posted a request to Facebook Groups (IWIB, USNAA) and emailed WIB Global Club Leadership and NAA Leadership and Councils in US, UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Singapore, and Brazil. Special thanks to Bharathi Sathurappan, Ruchika Kapoor, Tara Marsh, Yuni Rohmann, Katarina Hasbani, Dheeraj Motwani, Supriya Goswami, Marie Chevalier, Cintia Tavella and Liana Slater for contributing to the article.