According to a new report from WEF – global equality between men and women is still a long way off, despite the increased focus on the gender pay gap.
WEF said the world had closed 68% of its gender gap in 2018, a mere 0.1% improvement on last year. This means, at the current rate of progress, it will take 108 years for the global gender gap to close entirely.
Linda Aiello – SVP, International Employee Success at Salesforce has shared her thoughts on why gender parity is not something that you achieve overnight – you have to keep addressing it:
“The gender gap is an issue that’s felt across all organisations and sectors. As women are a fundamental contributor to the cognitive diversity of a team, gender equality is becoming an increasingly important consideration in how we design our products, develop our workforce and educate our future generations. In this new era, leading for business and leading for society will go hand in hand.
“Creating a more diverse business brings with it countless benefits. Having that cognitive diversity can improve a team’s performance by highlighting a range of views on how to assess or solve a challenge. A more diverse workforce also enables companies to better reflect their customers and therefore better understand them.
“To achieve real change across the world, more organisations need to be driving the gender equality agenda internally, every day. At Salesforce, equal pay is a good example of this. Three years ago, we made a commitment to ensure equal pay for equal work at Salesforce. Since then, we've conducted three global equal pay assessments, resulting in the company spending almost $9 million to address any unexplained differences in pay between men and women. And we will continue to monitor and review employee compensation on an ongoing basis.
Gender diversity needs to be an intrinsic part of the living, breathing culture of any organisation. And those businesses that are driving change are those that consider it every day, at every level of the company and throughout their programmes and processes.”
Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Fujitsu EMEIA has offered her comments on what businesses can actively do to improve diversity and inclusion:
“The World Economic Forum’s latest report indicates that we are still a long way off from closing the gender pay gap, with only a mere 0.1% improvement from last year. As such, one thing remains clear: whilst great strides have been made, there’s still an ocean of gender inequality left for us to conquer. Amid the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, mandatory gender pay reporting and a push for more women in senior positions, this is especially apparent in the 2018 workplace.
“There are many efforts that businesses can make to facilitate a diverse and inclusive work environment. One major factor preventing gender equality is the pipeline problem. If organisations are to address the low number of women in more senior-level positions the first step is to increase the pipeline of talent by driving recruitment of women at a graduate and apprentice level.
“But it doesn’t stop there. It’s easy enough to put in place initiatives where half of a company’s graduates employed are women, but this shouldn’t be seen as a box-ticking exercise. Women need to be properly retained and included with an organisation, and the introduction of women’s networks, for instance, can be vital in ensuring women receive the proper support and advice they need. But it should be the responsibility of the senior team to encourage senior women to act as mentors and role models and lead by example in supporting women within their organisation.
“But it doesn’t stop there. It’s easy enough to put in place initiatives to hire a gender balance of junior talent, but this shouldn’t be seen as a solution in itself. Companies need to ensure they are effectively retaining and including women, for example, by introducing women’s networks so women can receive the support and advice they need to navigate male-dominated workplaces. It should be the responsibility of the senior team to lead by example in supporting women within their organisation and ensuring that women can access mentors, role models and sponsors to enable them to succeed.
“The future does look bright for women in the UK, but transparency is vital if we are to close the gender pay gap once and for all.”