The business case for gender diversity in leadership is compelling. I’ve updated it to include (more) recent studies linking diversity and financial performance.
Deaf, Blind, Biased – or Stumped? Why Leaders Don’t Respond to the Business Case for Gender Diversity
Why might the message about the value of diversity not be heard? Why might leaders hear it but not buy it? Why do men who do buy it not take effective action? These are not rhetorical questions. I have some ideas but I want your thoughts.
I periodically update the research that forms the business case for gender balance at the leadership level. Here is my latest update. I review studies showing the business benefit of diversity and inclusion generally. Gender diversity brings all these benefits and more.
Fixing the “pyramid problem” (that women aren’t proportionally represented at the upper levels of business) would enable businesses to avoid significant costs and capture significant upsides. But changing organizational culture and unconscious preferences can only occur if there is a solid business case. There is. The business case for building an inclusive cultures includes facts showing that inclusive cultures: (1) have higher customer satisfaction and profits; (2) have lower turnover; (3) have an easier time recruiting; (4) get better decisions, and (5) have the ability to tap the multicultural marketplace. The business case for gender diversity in leadership adds to this: (1) companies with gender diversity at the top get higher returns, (2) the hiring pool is half women and the educated pool is more than half women; (3) it opens the huge women’s market, and (4) it has the biggest “bang for the buck.”