Plenty of Proof That Gender Parity Gives Businesses a Competitive Advantage

Susan BowenThere is plenty of proof which confirms that gender parity gives business a competitive advantage.

Studies reveal that gender diverse companies are 45% more likely to improve market share, achieve 53% higher returns on equity, and are 70% more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. Research also discovered that shifting from an all-male or all-female office to one split evenly across gender lines could increase revenue by roughly 41 per cent.

Let’s face the facts; intelligence, knowledge, creativity and innovation are not gender specific attributes – they are characteristics that apply equally to men and women.

By striking the right gender balance we attract the best talent, improve productivity, enable greater innovation and grow the business and our reputation.

According to The Higher Education Policy Institute women in the UK are now 35% more likely than men to go to university and the gap is widening every year. In 2000, 133,000 women graduated from university compared to 110,000 men. Since then, the gap has accelerated; figures from 2015 show there were almost 300,000 more women in higher education than men.

To put it simply, an organisation which is as attractive to women as it is to men will have access to the entire talent pool and given that the demand for digital skills across all areas of the economy is rapidly surging ahead of our ability to deliver, workforce diversity has never been more important. The UK has an enormous potential source of digital talent but to make the best use of it we need to draw deep from the entire pool, not just a part of it.

Well-managed diversity brings together varied perspectives, produces a more holistic analysis of the issues a company faces and spurs greater effort, leading to improved decision-making. Gender parity generates diverse thinking, which translates into greater innovation, irrespective of which industry you are in.

At Cogeco Peer 1, and at a personal level, we have a deep commitment to the Tech Talent Charter, endorsed by the Government’s Digital Strategy. This is a set of guidelines developed to addresses the biases and issues faced by women in tech, which outlines key measures to encourage organisations to think differently in support of a more diverse tech workforce and puts forward best practice guidelines.

The issues it deals with are pressingly important: we have a national digital skills crisis; there are something like 600,000 vacancies in the tech sector forecast to rise to 1 million by 2020.

We need to address this collectively and gender diversity is not only the right thing to do... it also makes absolute sound business sense.

Learning how to strike the right diversity balance in the workplace can ensure you are attracting the right talent, boost profits and productivity, improve employee retention, benefit long-term relationships and maximise success in work and life as a whole. It’s a win-win.

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