Digital Sales
First Movers
IBM Institute for Business Value
Michelle Peluso
Oxford Economics
Women’s International Day

It will take until 2073 to achieve gender equality in the global workplace, study says

It is going to take at least 54 years – until 2073 – to achieve gender equality in the global workplace according to a new research released on Women’s International Day.

The global study “Women, Leadership, and the Priority Paradox,” was conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in cooperation with Oxford Economics.

It polled 2,300 executives and professionals and revealed that the leadership gender gap in the global workplace continues to persist because organisations have yet to make advancing women a formal business priority.

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The study revealed that within those organisations surveyed, only 18 per cent of senior leadership positions are held by women.

It attributed to gender inequality in organisations due to lack of prioritization and men who underestimate the magnitude of gender bias in their workplaces.

“65 per cent of male executives reported it is just as likely they would have been promoted to a top leadership role even if they had been women, despite the low numbers of women that currently hold those roles” the report reads.

Despite these hurdles, there was a set of organisations — dubbed “First Movers” in the report — that stood out as being dedicated to achieving gender equality within their leadership ranks.

Comprising 12 per cent of the total sample, these organisations share characteristics and values that foster a more inclusive environment and provide a roadmap of how to create progress for other organisations:

They are serious about gender inclusion and have made advancing women into leadership roles a formal business priority. By comparison, only nine per cent of other organisations has the same focus.

Additionally, they are sold on the idea that gender-inclusive organisations are more successful financially, whereas only 38 percent of other organisations agree.

They all agree that businesses need to continue making changes to achieve gender equality in the workplace. While the majority of other organisations in our survey also agree, 29 per cent more First Movers are passionate about taking action than other organisations.

“What we have learned from First Movers is the importance of setting measurable goals and defining a systematic approach to inclusion across the organization. This means everything from recruiting to rewarding, developing, retaining and promoting women. And, then, we must ourselves accountable to meet these goals,” Michelle Peluso, Senior Vice President of Digital Sales and Chief Marketing Officer said.

The study also guides key steps to creating a culture that fosters gender equality in the workplace. Organisations looking to drive change need to implement concrete initiatives that directly impact performance goals and incentives at every level of the organisation.

Some of the recommended changes in organisations include making gender equality in leadership a business priority, creating a culture of inclusion and making leadership accountable for gender equality.

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