BMW recognized that diversity was important to them.

BMW recognized that diversity was important to them, with 140 markets worldwide they realized that women accounted for up to 50% of their market.

BMW understood that with such a diverse cultural market, their internal workforce needed to more closely represent their client base. How else will they know their market? Diversity also mattered to BMW because they faced an increasing shortage of specialist skills, they needed to develop new markets and they needed to optimize management skills. Their diversity program promoted gender balance in executive positions as well as increasing development programs for younger workers. BMW noted that getting the right gender mix of technical specialists was difficult due to the smaller number of girls entering technical programs. They responded by creating “Technology Camps for Girls” and the German national “Girls Day”. (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg. 12).

“BMW made diversity management a top priority for its HR function and business units with a particular focus on attracting and developing female talent” (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg.12).

You might wonder why this was so important to them, but BMW knew that for certain models in their (car) range, women account for up to 50% of their customers.  Understanding the mix of their clients made gender diversity internally an easy economic decision for BMW.

REFERENCES

Caye J_M, Teichman C, Strack R, Haen P, Bird S, Frick G (2011) “Hard Wiring Diversity into your Business”, European Association for People Management.  Boston Consulting Group.

 

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Should We Care About Diversity? (Yes, It’s a Serious Question)

This is an interesting article, by Sallie Krawcheck, (18October 2012 LinkedIn) who is the Past President of Merrill Lynch, US Trust and Smith Barney, but the comments below it are even more telling.  It is true that her assertion that “If women were fully engaged in the US economy, GDP would be 9% larger than it is today” is largely unsubstantiated by any hard facts although previous work by the UN does point to benefits for engaging a higher percentage of women in leadership roles, or at least providing them the ability for self determination.  What is interesting are the comments from a couple of the men who seem almost hostile, a little rejected and incredulous by the suggestion of increased gender diversity.  This attitude is nothing new and is one of the major obstacles yet to be overcome not only for Gender Diversity but general diversity issues.

Krawcheck acknowledges that there many important issues to discuss but says that

I have come to the conclusion that it does indeed matter. Let’s put aside personal opinions (almost impossible to do on a topic such as this) and look at just the facts:

Diversity matters for the broader issue of economic fairness, as companies led by women have lower gender-based pay disparities throughout their organizations. (Heck, companies run by men with daughters have lower gender-based pay disparities.)

Diversity matters for economic growth. If women were fully engaged in the US economy, GDP would be 9% larger than it is today. This is growth our economy could sorely use. (And, no, it’s not a zero sum game of new entrants taking others’ jobs; history shows that the economy can grow as a result of new entrants, in a virtuous circle.)

Diversity matters for US company performance and competitiveness. Study after study after study has shown that companies with diverse management teams outperform those with less diverse teams. And that diverse teams outperform even more “capable” teams. And they don’t outperform non-diverse teams by a little, but with ROE differentials of 30%+, with lower earnings volatility.

And diversity can even be a matter for the safety of our economy and financial markets. Which industry could use the lower volatility, more customer focus and the longer-term perspective that women have been shown to bring? The banks.”

Without hard facts that prove the impact of Gender on the Economy this debate still flounders,  diversity is a ‘nice to have’, any many business owners and CEO’s revert to the tried and tested methods of old fashion business, much of which has been engineered using traditional business models that often provide a barrier to women’s effective participation.  Commonsense would tell you that engaging the other 50% of the population more fully would not doubt open up a broader range of thinking.  For a start it would provide valuable business feedback from female consumers not currently present in many boardrooms.  Krawchecks comments have drawn some criticism from white males who may have taken offense at her assertion;

“And, yet, the progress of women into senior roles has stalled in broader corporate America. And, on Wall Street, an industry that was substantially white, middle-aged and male has become whiter, middle-aged-er and maler coming out of the downturn, essentially doubling down on that bet.”

I have noticed a distinct upsurge of men complaining that they have been ‘hard done by’, that they are ‘being discriminated against’ and many are turning to anti-feminist organisations and men’s own groups for support.  Whilst their complaints and comments might seem trivial in comparison to the plight of many women, they should not be dismissed.  These men are finding change difficult, they feel rejected and insulted as can be seen by the comments in the article.  They feel that they are being blamed for this inequality and can’t quite understand why, so instead they feel persecuted and brow beaten.  Part of the Gender Economy debate and the debate for Gender Diversity must provide positives for both genders.  It is a journey, and currently we are in that part of the journey that has women (and many men) highlighting the issues, so it sounds like one negative being raised after another.  We need to move to the next phase of the journey quickly by assessing potential solutions otherwise the debate will remain a discussion with different sides.  The next phase of the journey will discuss the benefits and help people to see the advantages for all.

See the full article here

References:

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121018185756-174077701-should-we-care-about-diversity-yes-it-s-a-serious-question?goback=.ptf_143695135_true_*1&trk=who_to_follow-b&_mSplash=1

Diversity Economics Research – “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”

I am doing research on “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity program’s” and currently have completed a research proposal and am looking to work with a number of organisations to participate in the study that would be interested in working with me on completing this work. My research has indicated that there are no proven causal links between Gender Diversity Programs and organisational profitability. As part of the study I will be developing a measurement framework that can then be used to measure both the effectiveness of these programs and any causal link to profitability – I refer to this as Diversity Economics.

Executive Summary:

This study will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability. It will focus on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of Gender Diversity Programs (GDPs) within organisations in an effort to explore their relationship with the recruitment and retention of women in senior leadership roles. The aims and objectives of this research are;

1. To establish a link between Gender Diversity Programs and profit;

2. To develop a repeatable framework for the measurement of this effectiveness;

3. To develop benchmarks that support the framework;

4. To prove a link to organisational profitability as a starting point to further study into the impact of gender on economies, i.e.: Gender Economics1.

This research proposal is the first part of a wider study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics by first establishing a link between Gender Diversity programs and organisational profitability. Gender Economics is an emerging field of study that builds on the theories of diversity and promotes the value of gender balance, particularly in the area of innovation and creativity. It recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy and extends the theory that the discipline of economics ”could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases” (Ferber, Nelson 1993: 24). Diversity Economics focuses on the organisational economics of diversity programs and follows the concepts of Economic Diversity, ”as a way to achieve economic stability” (Wagner 1993).

The second part of the study, will take the established link between Diversity Economics and profitability further to develop quantified economic models proving the case for Gender Economics using a cost benefit analysis. This proposal only deals with the first part of the study.

[1] Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, see www.gendereconomics.com with the first annual conference being held in Madrid Spain in 2008
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New [Australian] gender equality law a step closer.

 

Gender Equality that looks at the issues of equality across genders is a smart way to change workplaces and to offer greater flexibility and choice to employee’s in our workplaces.  It also helps to promote a positive workplace, increasing employee satisfaction and ultimately employee motivation and engagement.

This article is copied from the Australian Government‘s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace (EOWA) website

“New gender equality law a step closer

19 June 2012

  • Focus on equal pay between men and women

  • More flexibility to allow men to share family/caring responsibilites

  • Shift from equal opportunity for women to gender equality

A new law to promote gender equality in Australian workplaces is a step closer following the passage of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Amendment Bill 2012 through the House of Representatives late yesterday.

Helen Conway, Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) said the proposed legislation will promote equal remuneration between women and men. The changes will also encourage organisations to allow men, as well as women, to work flexibly to meet family and caring responsibilities.

“We need to lift the participation rate of women in the workforce by removing existing disincentives. Our national productivity and competitiveness depends on it. In our workplaces, it is time we stopped paying lip service to gender equality and actually did something about it,” Ms Conway said.

The legislation will see EOWA renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, reflecting a shift in focus from equal opportunity for women to equality between the genders.

“The proposed amendments are the result of an extensive review and consultation process with stakeholders including employers, business groups, employee organisations and women’s groups. The Agency looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to achieve better gender equality outcomes for women and men,” Ms Conway said.

The Bill must now be passed by the Senate before becoming law.”

REFERENCES

http://www.eowa.gov.au/Information_Centres/Media_Centre/Media_Releases/190612_New_Gender_Equality_Law_a_Step_Closer.asp

 

Richard Branson on “Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom”, September 24, 2012

Richard Branson on Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom

By Richard Branson|September 24, 2012
Richard Branson on Why We Need More Women in the Boardroom

image credit: Big Think

I recently watched 12 Angry Men — that classic 1957 film about a jury struggling to decide the fate of an 18-year-old man who has been charged with murder. The movie gives you a sense of how the legal system worked in the United States back then, when juries were less diverse. By today’s standards, we would find it unsettling if a jury were comprised of 12 middle-aged white men. So why have so many business leaders been slow to take notice when women are absent from the boards of their companies?

In most developed nations, the percentage of women in the labor force has increased dramatically since the 1950s. When 12 Angry Men was produced, less than a third of American workers were female, whereas today, the U.S. Department of Labor says that number now stands at 47 percent.

Despite this change, men are still much more likely than women to hold senior positions.

Related: Women Entrepreneurs: Still a Long Way to Go, Baby

In particular, the ratio of female board members has lagged, with less than 14 percent of these positions at the largest companies filled by women, according to the European Commission. The numbers vary greatly from country to country across Europe: In Italy, only 6 percent of board members are women; in Spain and Belgium, 11 percent; in Germany, 16 percent; in France, 22 percent. The commission has been championing a planned EU law to impose sanctions on companies in the European Union if less than 40 percent of their board members are women.

I am not usually a fan of government involvement in private industry, but on this issue it seems to be needed. Norway took the lead in 2003 when its legislature passed a law requiring that at publicly listed companies, at least 40 percent of board members should be women. They were successful at meeting the 2008 target date, and since then the proportion of women on boards at Norwegian companies has risen to an encouraging 44 percent.

Related: Richard Branson on Strategies for Success

A study the British government commissioned on this problem recommended that by 2015, 25 percent of board members at the largest British companies should be women. The Cranfield School of Management recently reported that 50 percent now have more than one woman on their boards, but British companies still have a long way to go. The situation requires more than just a recommendation — whatever happened to leading with a persuasive argument? Simply for pragmatic reasons, business leaders need to take action.

Seventy percent of household purchasing decisions are made by women, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Those decisions are not just about grocery lists or kids’ clothes — women also choose big ticket items such as cars and vacations. So, if 50 percent of the staff at a company is female, and women drive 70 percent of the buying decisions for its products, what possible rationale can senior management have for leaving women out of the corporate decision-making process?

At Virgin, we have seen a number of women rise to senior positions over the years. At present, Virgin Money and Virgin Holidays are run by female CEOs and the person in the number two spot at Virgin Atlantic is a woman. There are many women in senior management at other Virgin companies, but we have much to do as an organization.

Related: Marissa Mayer’s New Role: Wonder Woman?

If you are looking to increase the number of women in leadership positions at your company, you might start by considering what opportunities female employees have for career advancement, and what barriers they may be encountering. Ask women from every area of your company about their experiences and for their advice.

Women often encounter gender-based stereotypes about who is qualified to do what kind of job, which can sometimes persist in subtle ways and must be challenged at every level. This may be addressed by offering female employees more flexible working conditions; in some cases, putting in place better policies for both maternity and paternity leaves may be a good start.

Fixing this injustice isn’t just good for your team: it’s good for business. Several studies have shown that gender equity in senior management and at the board level brings many tangible benefits. A report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute revealed that those firms dominated by men had recovered more slowly since the 2008 financial downturn than those with a more balanced male-female ratio.

So take a look at who’s sitting around your boardroom table. If you see 12 angry men, it’s time to write a new script!

Article reposted here in full, originally Published on Entrepreneur.com.  You can see the article here

Remarks at the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit

Secretary Clinton: September 2011 » Remarks at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit

an exerpt from the transcript;

“Now as this summit comes to a close, we will adopt a declaration for the first time in APEC’s history that will affirm this organization’s and each member economy’s commitment to improving women’s access to capital and markets, to building women’s capacities and skills, and to supporting the rise of women leaders in both the public and private sectors. And it is fitting that this declaration would be adopted here in San Francisco because it was just one mile from here, in the Herbst Theater, where the United Nations Charter was signed 66 years ago. In fact, the APEC Summit, which brings you all here is a celebration of that important occasion and a recognition that history is made right here in San Francisco. Because San Francisco is an appropriate venue for this economic discussion. Because this is a community that is renowned for its spirit of inclusion and opportunity for all. So on behalf of the United States and our people I give each of you, and you nations, my heartiest welcome and my heartfelt thanks for being here and undertaking this great mission with us.

Now there will be a temptation on the part of those observing or covering this summit, perhaps on the part of those of us attending it as well, to say that our purpose is chiefly to advance the rights of women, to achieve justice and equality on women’s behalf. And that is, of course, a noble cause to be sure and one that is very close to my heart. But at the risk of being somewhat provocative at the outset, I believe our goal is even bolder, one that extends beyond women to all humankind. The big challenge we face in these early years of 21st century is how to grow our economies and ensure shared prosperity for all nations and all people. We want to give every one of our citizens, men and women alike, young and old alike, greater opportunity to find work, to save and spend money, to pursue happiness ultimately to live up to their own God-given potentials.

That is a clear and simple vision to state. But to make it real, to achieve the economic expansion we all seek, we need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. And that vital source of growth is women. With economic models straining in every corner of the world, none of us can afford to perpetuate the barriers facing women in the workforce. Because by increasing women’s participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and productivity, we can bring about a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies. Because when everyone has a chance to participate in the economic life of a nation, we can all be richer. More of us can contribute to the global GDP. And the gap between the developed and the developing countries would narrow significantly as productivity rises in economies from Haiti to Papua New Guinea.”

Remarks at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/09/172605.htm

Susanne Moore Talks Gender Economics as Speaker at the 2012 Australian Sourcing Summit, Sydney

First presented by Susanne Moore at the 2012 Australian Sourcing Summit, Sydney on 15 and 16 August 2012 as part of a panel discussing DIVERSITY SOURCING – A NEW PARADIGM FOR SOURCERS.

The slide pack gives an overview of the panel discussion and then introduces Gender Economics on page 4.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE PRESENTATION Gender Economics slide pack

 

My Research Proposal – “The Effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational Gender Diversity Programs on Profit”

My research proposal

As part of my Sociology degree I have commenced a year-long research project. The subject will be on “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”  to see if we can come up with some metrics and measurements for quantifying the value of a gender diverse workforce on bottom line profitability.  Diversity programs are undertaken in many organizations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership and although we know there are clear advantages, much of the information is empirical or intangible and difficult to measure under current business structures.

This is the first part of the study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.

Title What is the effectiveness (or otherwise)of organisational Diversity Programs on profit?
Summary The subject will be on the effectiveness of gender diversity programs within organisations in a bid to attract and retain senior women in leadership roles.  The first part of the study is to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.  Gender Economics recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy by enabling leadership roles through diversity rather than the ‘indirect’ impact of women as consumers and supporters.I will draw on existing research into the field of diversity management and test the theories using participants in focus group’s to draw on their experience and knowledge in the areas in both implementing diversity programs, and being a recipient of diversity programs.Ideally, I am looking for a mix of men and women of different ages to form a group of six to ten people for the initial focus group session.  Over the coming year I intend to work with at least two organisations, one government and one corporate, who currently have a diversity program in place.  I aim to research and evaluate these programs to see what metrics they have put in place to measure the success of their programs.  Then I would like to tie the outcomes to economic health as an argument for the economic advantages of Gender and Diversity Economics.
Background to the Research Having worked in both corporate and government organisations, I know firsthand the challenges of managing diversity.  I have also seen the issues that result from discrimination, bias, gender stereotyping and a lack of flexibility in organisations.
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Gender Diversity Research – “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”

NEXT FOCUS GROUP SYDNEY MONDAY 20 AUGUST 6-8PM

As part of my Sociology degree I have commenced a year-long research project. The subject will be on “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”  to see if we can come up with some metrics and measurements for quantifying the value of a gender diverse workforce on bottom line profitability.  Diversity programs are undertaken in many organizations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership and although we know there are clear advantages, much of the information is empirical or intangible and difficult to measure under current business structures.

This is the first part of the study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.

To book, please CONTACT ME

MORE INFORMATION ON MY RESEARCH

The effectiveness of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs

  • Description: Building frameworks and metrics for gender diversity programs to measure their impact on bottom line profitability. Expanding these metrics to measure the economic input of gender diversity programs.

The subject of my research project will be on the effectiveness of gender diversity programs within organisations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership roles.  The first part of the study is to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.  Gender Economics recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy by enabling leadership roles through diversity rather than the ‘indirect’ impact of women as consumers and supporters.

I will draw on existing research into the field of diversity management and test the theories using participants in focus group’s to draw on their experience and knowledge in the areas in both implementing diversity programs, and being a recipient of diversity programs.

Ideally, I am looking for a mix of men and women of different ages to form a group of six to ten people for the first focus group session.  Over the coming year I intend to work with at least two organisations, one government and one corporate, who currently have a diversity program in place.  I aim to research and evaluate these programs to see what metrics they have put in place to measure the success of their programs.  Then I would like to tie the outcomes to economic health as an argument for the economic advantages of Gender and Diversity Economics.