Building diversity and innovation

July 12, 2016

Women are still a staggering 118 years away from closing the gender gap, in terms of labour market opportunity, education, health and political clout. And employers and leaders have a critical role to play, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap report.

To advance employees and compete successfully and sustainably in a global business environment employers and business leaders need to think and act differently to minimise the risk of insufficiently diverse organisations.

To break through the inertia and accelerate progress, organisations need behavioural change on the individual level, beginning with leaders and progressing peer by peer to create real momentum for change.

But it takes strong data to envision the scope of change and catalyse action.

Since 2014, Mercer’s When Women Thrive initiative has surveyed global organisations on workplace gender diversity issues and now covers responses from 583 companies across 42 countries, including data on 3.2 million employees. It is the largest study of its kind. This expanded footprint has revealed invaluable insights about what is required to help women thrive, advance and lead at work, and help deliver the proven business results of a truly diverse workforce strategy.

Among the key findings of the report is that most regions of the world continue to face challenges in increasing women’s representation at all levels, with Asia projected to have the lowest representation and Latin America the only region on track to reach gender parity at the professional level and above.

For a look at the report’s findings by region go to BRINK News, where the article was first published.

Pat Milligan is senior partner and global leader, Multi-National Client Group for Mercer.  She also currently serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council.

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