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Organizations that promote gender diversity within their businesses practices are rated more effective by their employees across a range of topics than those that do not.
This is according to an analysis by Willis Towers Watson, which also found that companies that offer supportive family services and health education programs for women provide better environments for finding work-life balance and managing workloads.
The analysis links diversity practices with opinions from 1.7 million employees surveyed by Willis Towers Watson at 32 major companies that are included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The employee attitude data are integrated with Bloomberg data on gender-related programs and practices to examine linkages between gender-diversity policies and employee opinion. The GEI tracks the financial performance of companies that are committed to advancing women in the workplace through disclosure of gender-related data.
Among the key findings from the analysis:
- Organizations that grant a higher percentage of promotions to women generate more favorable employee views, especially opinions of senior leadership. The advantages are most apparent when at least one-third of promotions go to women.
- Organizations with more women among their most-compensated staff have more favorable employee attitudes, especially for opinions of career development. The advantages are most apparent when at least one-third of women are among the top 10% highest compensated executives.
- Offering family-supporting and health-enriching benefits, such as adoption assistance and women’s health education, are linked with more favorable views of work-life balance and the ability to manage workloads.
“We are seeing more and more companies making gender diversity and equality a top priority, and rightfully so,” said Laura Sejen, managing director, human capital and benefits, Willis Towers Watson. “As our analysis shows, even small steps can make a difference. Companies that are making a push toward gender diversity are experiencing a meaningful and positive impact on employee attitudes toward leadership, career development and other aspects of the workplace.”