In a recent Ellevate Network survey of more than 1,000 professional women, 47% of respondents said they are somewhat satisfied with how their company handles diversity and inclusion, while 20% of the respondents said they are not satisfied. Women said they are “tired of hearing about diversity in powerpoint presentations over a potluck lunch,” and want to “start seeing real change,” with more women in senior leadership positions, more of a cultural shift in how we do business, and less “checking the box.”
Although there is an abundance of research proving how great diversity is for business and for the economy, there are still many companies struggling to get it right. So who is leading the charge and what can we learn from them? We asked Ellevate's Corporate Champions about what's working in their organizations. Here are five ways they are closing the gender achievement and pay gaps:
Offer Workplace Flexibility Without Shame
Advancements in technology and innovation are changing the way we work and do business for the better, and whether we like it or not, most people are connected to their job 24/7. 36% of Ellevate members say they want to find more work/life balance in 2016 and 40% believe the most valuable perk an employer can offer is flexibility. As Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of Ellevate, has said, “to make meaningful progress, smart companies will build cultures and career paths that go beyond today's flexibility approaches: they will enable true flexibility without shame.” Ellevate Network partner Accenture is doing just that:
"We offer a range of flexible work arrangements to help our people achieve work/life balance, while meeting the demands of our business. Our fly-back program, smart work initiative and client-site flexible work arrangements help address the challenges that come with business travel commitments. We also provide innovative communication and collaboration tools to help increase productivity, efficiency and flexibility."
Be Transparent About Pay
Ellevate recently recognized Equal Pay Day, which highlights the discouraging fact that the average full-time working woman still earns just $0.79 for every dollar a man earns. 55% of Ellevate Members say equal pay and the gender achievement gap are the most important issues regarding women. 15% say the number one action needed to close the gender pay gap is to work with companies to promote diversity internally and create more transparent salary reporting. One Ellevate member received a TWO level promotion and a 30% increase in pay after she asked her company to review her compensation as compared to her peers (all male). Accenture added:
We strive to ensure that all our people are paid fairly and equitably from the moment we hire them through the milestones of their careers here. We have rigorous processes in place to identify discrepancies. Our philosophy is simple: if we find a problem we fix it –for both our women and our men.
Companies like Fairygodboss are also making it easier for women to get the inside scoop on pay at their companies compared to pay for women in similar roles.
Invest in Your Leaders of Tomorrow
Mid-career professional women are starting to feel like the middle child. There is a lot of focus on Millenials and