Today marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women’s achievements and to continue the push for equality the world over, embodied by this year’s theme: #PushforProgress.
One area that we believe there’s still plenty of room for improvement in (and supported by our recent Women in Tech report) is female employment in technology. The social and ethical motives for this are clear, but if that’s not reason enough, you may be unaware of the vast quantitative research that supports the push for balancing out genders in the workforce.
1. It makes financial sense
Research looking at US companies listed within the Fortune 500 found that those with the highest percentage of female board directors heavily outperformed those with the lowest; 53% greater Return on Equity, 42% greater Return on Sales and 66% greater Return on Invested Capital.
It’s not just the US seeing the benefits. 22,000 firms from around the world were recently studied in regards to gender diversity and the results showed that firms that went from no female corporate leadership to even just a 30% female share caused a 15% increase in profitability for a typical firm. It was discovered that because of the presence of high level female leaders, there was less gender discrimination throughout the firm.
2. Lower staff turnover
Another report studying gender diversity at work, looking at 800 business units, found that greater diversity helps a company both attract and retain talented women. It also states that companies with more diversity on staff have a 22% lower turnover rate in general, among a plethora of additional benefits – such as generally superior industry knowledge and information sourcing ability.
This is also a consideration for potential employees too, with a Glassdoor survey finding that over two thirds of people consider diversity important when deciding where to work.
As a recruitment company, we perhaps understand better than anyone the potential expenses and difficulties involved with hiring staff and the importance of retaining your best talent cannot be understated.
3. Improves Reputation
Reputation is important for attracting business and attracting staff – in fact, 69% of people would reportedly turn down a job from a company purely based on their reputation, even if unemployed. It’s an attribute that only continues to grow in value, so it’s crucial to get it right. Research suggests one way to do exactly that – improve female representation. A study looking at companies on the Fortune 500 and World’s Most Admired Companies lists (that’s over 8,600 executives from 36 countries) found that the most admired and respected companies had a greater female representation of senior leaders.
4. Your team will perform better
So what differences does gender diversity bring to the office? Well, one study reports that a group’s tendency to co-operate effectively is directly linked with the number of women involved. Another, surveying more than 100 teams operating in 17 countries, discovered that team experimentation, efficiency and psychological safety are optimal when there are 50% women represented, even suggesting that more women improves team confidence.
The benefits of promoting diversity in general within the workplace is evidenced throughout a lot of credible research, with one claiming that diversity can boost decision making and group performance and another study finding that companies with diverse employees are generally more innovative, collaborate better as a team and respond better to changing customer needs. The list goes on and on.
The sheer scale of research available supporting the equal inclusion of women at work goes far beyond any article can cover. International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the achievements of females around the world and there’s plenty to celebrate. But, it’s also a day to remember the challenges women still face and the gender gap is one of them. The evidence is clear, however: the more women the technology industry hires, the better we all are for it.
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