The global pursuit for gender equality is defining the way companies operate across the globe. Here’s how their efforts are expected to change the workforce.
In the march toward global gender equality, there are a range of solutions being offered by various countries and industries in order to create parity.
The benefits are numerous, comprising everything from economic and financial boosts to a more positive working environment for all genders. While the quest for a more inclusive professional landscape is a goal across all industries and global territories, some in particular are focusing on promoting their own unique brand of change.
The IT industry is one that has come under scrutiny time and again in this regard. However, there are organisations fostering initiatives to address the gender imbalance and ensure women can find supported success in the IT role of their choosing.
What are the global benefits to gender equality?
As stated above, there are wider benefits to workplace gender equality that go beyond social effects. According to McKinsey & Company, creating a more inclusive international workforce could have economic benefits that register in the range of trillions of dollars.
The firm’s forecast relies on a sustained global effort to encourage gender parity across a range of variables, including education, remuneration and opportunities for career advancement. If these conditions are met, McKinsey & Company is predicting a global GDP increase of up to 26 per cent by 2025, translating to approximately US$28 trillion.
At this stage, the gender equality standards differ drastically between region, with McKinsey & Company finding that some locations are performing significantly better than others. The Gender Parity Score ranked the North America and Oceania region as the global leader with a score of 0.74 (1.0 indicates perfect equality).
There are further initiatives businesses and regulatory bodies can put in place to ensure women are able to compete in the job market on equal footing with men. One option is financial incentives, either for hiring managers or candidates, that can encourage women to pursue technology jobs.
While financial incentives are a valuable motivator in most instances, there’s another dimension to these causes that can have an equally positive effect. McKinsey & Company believes that companies, education providers and regulatory bodies need to ensure that attitudes and learning opportunities are conducive to creating an environment that facilitates gender equality.
How are tech companies making a difference?
Tech companies of all shapes and sizes, whether global leaders or recent start ups, are in the perfect position to make their mark on the way the industry responds to societal issues such as gender equality.
In many cases, these organisations have both the experience and the influence necessary to have an effect on the industry.
Intel is just one of many examples of large tech leaders making a difference to the next generation of IT candidates, launching multiple programs across the world that each focus in a different sector of female professional development.
The She Will Connect program targets developing digital economies, ensuring all genders have access to emerging technologies. In most cases, the difference between the number of women and men that benefit from digital access is around 25 per cent. However, Intel discovered this can grow as high as 43 per cent in some sub-Saharan regions.
The program sees Intel operate a peer-to-peer network for women in the affected regions that aims to increase their digital literacy, ensuring they are equipped for the competitive IT job market.
What else needs to change?
Opening the doors for more women to pursue IT and other tech jobs is one thing, but this just the first step in long process to achieve global equality. While in most cases women are able to compete with men for entry-level and graduate roles, it can be difficult to secure opportunities for career advancement.
McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org completed a survey which revealed the extent these issues at a leadership level, finding there is plenty of room for change.
According to the pair, regardless of the industry, women find it difficult to move through the ranks to leadership positions within an organisation. Worryingly, if the world continues to progress at the current rate, it could take up to 25 years to reach international gender parity.
One of the key issues in defining equal leadership, according to the results of the research, is the lack of consistency in approach to to the issues, with the survey producing notable discrepancies between the various levels of leadership.
At an organisational level, almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of companies believe CEOs are making diversity a priority. However, a significantly lower proportion of employees believe this reflects the reality of the situation, and even fewer believe their immediate managers are making efforts in these causes.
The problem is compounded by a negative feeling from women looking to advance their careers, as the research found the they are more likely to cite issues with stress as a barrier to leadership.
While these examples illustrate an industry that is creating positive change, there is still further work to do to facilitate global gender equality.
Talent are committed to helping ensure greater gender equality across the IT and tech sector. To find out more about how we can open doors for your career please contact us.