The Business Case for Gender Diversity

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.

Happy Holidays from DifferenceWORKS!

The proximity of three big holidays makes me reflect on the mission of Difference WORKS — helping create workplaces that value, in both men and women, both masculine and feminine ways of thinking, working and leading. This is a niche in the broader field of diversity and inclusion and the issues related to women’s rights. Thanksgiving makes me grateful that American women have made more advances than in many areas of the world. For the season of giving, I give you my holiday greetings and a commitment to keep at my mission. For New Year’s, I hope anything negative for your in 2014 is left behind and that 2015 is great.

So Many People; So Many Differences

I am fortunate to have been able to travel a great deal recently. When I travel, what I read in history books or hear on the news becomes more real. I pay attention to news of places where I have been. I can imagine people in Delhi, Munich, Beijing, Cairo and Istanbul. Awareness and appreciation of difference makes me glad I am in the field of diversity and inclusion.

Diversity, Diversity, Diversity: What Differences Are in Your Organization?

Organizational diversity exists when there are different “cultural profiles” within the organization. “Culture” refers to values and ways of a certain geography; there are “subsets of culture” and many combinations of these subsets. I provide an instrument that demonstrates the many kinds of difference. Use it to assess your person cultural profile, which profiles are dominant in your organization and the level of organizational diversity. The assessment helps you consider who is “different” from those in power or in the majority. It can help you see what needs to be done to leverage the benefits of diversity — to create an inclusive culture with deep and broad engagement.

Why I Focus on Gender Diversity

Why do I focus on a specific form of diversity (gender or generational differences at work) rather than more broadly on diversity and inclusion? I take an inductive approach, believing that awareness of the value of one form of difference can be applied to other forms of difference. Why not start with the largest group under-represented at leadership levels (women)? As a white woman, I have more credibility on the issue of women in business than on race or sexual orientation. We have lots of opportunity to practice on gender differences. I want both masculine and feminine strengths applied to solving the big issues facing the world; having a balance of men and women makes that more likely. That’s why.