"Gender-balanced business success must inspire all organisations to strive for equality," says UKG

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Building a diverse workforce of differing perspectives and experiences will lead to broader ideas and better problem-solving skills being brought to the table

Achieving gender parity within the workplace is a target for most businesses today. Despite how crucial it is to achieve this, many organisations may be unaware of the additional benefits that an equal workforce may bring, from performance to a competitive edge.

As of January 2024, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will come into effect. Large organisations with a presence in the EU will need to report on issues like gender and pay equality, inclusion, training and skills development. While reporting will be mandatory, research suggests that this will pay dividends in return.

Recent research from investment management giant Blackrock shows that organisations operating with a gender balanced workforce are seeing better results in comparison to those failing to take the same approach to diversity and inclusion. According to the findings, between 2013 and 2022, companies with gender parity would outperform peers by as much as 2 per cent annually.

Liam McNeill, Group Vice President, EMEA at UKG believes that the findings should encourage more businesses to make bigger, bolder strides towards achieving a balanced workforce.

McNeill comments: “The results from Blackrock’s research should kickstart gender inclusion initiatives across the country that are long overdue. For businesses struggling to meet their targets, the results provide direction and inspiration for organisations playing catch up, at a time when organisations need to be as strategic as possible during the current economic headwinds.

“Gender diversity is a very obvious direction and goal for all organisations. After all, it is something that should already exist across the workforce and a culture of inclusion should be fostered to bring out the best in employees.

“Not only is it the right thing to do, but building a diverse workforce of differing perspectives and experiences will lead to broader ideas and better problem-solving skills being brought to the table, Having a competitive edge in creativity will also quickly develop into expanding your market reach and in turn, new revenue streams.

“An often-overlooked positive aspect of a diverse workplace is the better talent attraction and retention rates businesses can expect to see. A growing number of professionals take notice of company culture and diversity falls into this consideration.

“Having the ability to attract and retain top talent will not only save on recruitment costs but will fill the company roster with like-minded and motivated team members. All of whom will be working on behalf of a business whose ethos they all buy into.

“Businesses with a diverse mindset to recruitment will quickly find their pool of potential talent widened as they are no longer bounded by historical close-minded views towards recruitment and staffing.

“From a customer perspective, gender parity will be well-received as diverse teams are more likely to understand the challenges and requirements of a customer compared to non-diverse teams. Customers will recognise the value of consistently receiving better services compared to others.”

“For hiring managers, the positive impact of gender parity will snowball into a more attractive and competitive offering over time. Businesses who ignore the value of diversity will soon feel the implications, from a lack of creativity to team togetherness. An awareness of diversity will shine through to clients and prospects and impact their decisions on who they wish to partner with.”

Progress in the UK seems yet to be made as figures from UK Government shows that 90 per cent of stay-at-home carers and parents are comprised of women.

McNeill concludes: “Encouraging more women into the workforce will bolster UK businesses in many different ways. HR managers and decision makers must do all they can to remove any barriers for women to enter or re-enter the workforce as seamlessly as possible.

“Businesses continue to navigate harsh economic conditions and improving gender parity across the workforce could be the remedy they have required but for too long, have failed to recognise. It is encouraging to see the important role diversity can contribute towards business performance and will hopefully inspire more businesses to take a closer look at their gender equality policy.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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