We’ve been hearing forever that there need be more women in the C-Suite. Tiny baby steps have gradually been pushing this into becoming a reality. But maybe it will finally happen… in 2030. I know, that sounds like a very long time to wait for women who have only seen microscopic changes, but 27 companies have now put it into a pledge to reach gender parity by that time. It seems like a lofty goal since only a mere 19% of top executive positions are currently held by women.
CEOs from Bank of America, Linked In, Coca Cola, American Electric Power, Nordstrom, and Newmont Mining Corporation have agreed to set goals and hold themselves accountable with regular progress reports.
Simply putting more women in the C-Suite just for the sake of gender equity wouldn’t be a smart business move. But studies show that gender diversity is good for the bottom line and for innovation in a company.
A recent Gallup study of 800 business units from 2 companies in different industries showed that business units that are more gender diverse have better financial outcomes. A study done by Catlyst, (a non profit organization focused on workplace inclusion) on gender diversity on boards, showed that “on average, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%.”
Another smart business move they will be implementing is to evaluate the women executives based on their performance and impact on the company and promote accordingly.
The idea for Paradigm for Parity originated from several female executives who were tired of the snail pace of women advancement in the C-Suite. They came up with a plan to eccelerate the pace and enlisted other male and female executives to join them.
Chief executive at Accenture, Pierre Nanterme set an aggressive goal of 40% new women hires world-wide by 2017. They’ve also discussed hiring by using “blind” resumes.
These executives hope to set off a chain reaction in other companies so the goal of wide-spread gender parity will finally be reached.