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Happy International Women’s Day!

8 March 2020 is International Women’s day. Having come a long way since the UN first celebrated this day in 1957, there are still areas where inequality for women and girls persists. 

From an early age, boys and girls are unconsciously treated differently which causes discrepancies when it comes to what they think they can achieve. Girls generally perform better at school yet, according to a study conducted by Heidrick & Struggles, only about 5% of working women are in CEO and upper management positions. As highlighted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in an overwhelming amount of companies, women do not receive the same promotion opportunities or pay parity with their male counterparts.  

Ensuring that women have the opportunity to participate to their full potential in the labour market provides personal fulfilment and financial autonomy to them, however there are also a wealth of benefits for employers

  • It will increase your business’s financial profitability

Diverse workforces generally achieve higher levels of performance in many of the most common metrics used to measure commercial success. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, businesses in the top 25% for gender diversity on their executive team were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability, than companies in the bottom 25%.

In a survey conducted by Accenture, those numbers are primarily explained by the fact that more women in an office conjures more innovation, as well as more challenging and robust decision-making. An individual’s mindset is invariably shaped by their experiences and ideas. Diverse teams increases the variety of experiences that team can bring to bear.  Practically, it is a reasoned hypothesis that a diverse team is more likely to examine business strategy and challenges from several angles.  Solutions become more informed and optimised as a result.

  • It will improve your business’s reputation

In this modern age of digital advertising, social media and other ultra-fast communication tools, news travels fast. Businesses that have a track record of giving equal opportunities for promotion and development to every employees obtain both reputational and commercial advantages. 

Being an inclusive company is also crucial for companies to attract new customers. A demonstrable culture and ethos of inclusion permeating a business may be critical in situations such as tendering for contracts.

  • It will widen your talent pool

In any industry, it makes little sense to draw from a smaller source of potentially suitable candidates.

That means that the reward that comes with developing, retaining and advancing women is significant: it allows companies to tap into the broadest possible pool of talent.

The upcoming generation of workers, for example, harbour forward-thinking and inclusive perspectives and expectations when it comes to working in a diverse environment. 

What does this all mean on a day where we celebrate womanhood? It means everything. The direction of travel is in recognising and appreciating the commercial, ethical and moral power of feminism. In business, more power to women is often aligned to more success. This international Women’s Day, we will raise a glass to that.

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