A critical step to closing the gender gap in corporate leadership is setting measurable goals and communicating about progress. Since the Paradigm for Parity® coalition launched two years ago, our 92 companies are putting our 5-Point Action Plan into practice and they are seeing the results. Leaders from three coalition companies — Accenture, Sodexo and UTC — are sharing the goals that they’ve set and how they are working to achieve them.

Ellyn Shook, the Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer of Accenture, discusses the company’s diversity goals.

“It’s not just about what we say, it’s about what we do … is not just a phrase, but a pervasive tone set by Accenture’s CEO, Pierre Nanterme. It has anchored our organization’s journey toward a gender-balanced workforce. This strong focus on action is a key tenet set by the Paradigm for Parity® Coalition. The Paradigm for Parity® coalition helps push leaders beyond talk to action — with their tangible and practical five-point road map. It provides a path forward and quite frankly was an important difference maker in our decision to not only set, but be transparent with and publicly share our aggressive gender parity goals at Accenture — to achieve a workforce with 50% women and 50% men by 2025 and to achieve 25% women managing directors by 2020. We are making strong progress towards both aspirations, using the Paradigm for Parity® road map as our guide.”

Rohini Anand, the Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer of Sodexo, provides insights on the company’s benchmark and goals.

“Sodexo’s focus on supporting and advancing women continues to be a key component of our corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. As reflected in our many programs and initiatives, advocating for gender balance, professional development and career growth for women is not only a priority, but something we take great pride in.

“In July of this year, Sodexo joined the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, to demonstrate our support of their call to action to help achieve gender parity in leadership positions in the corporate world by 2030.

“As such, Sodexo has committed to:

· Eliminating or minimizing unconscious bias in the workplace;

· Significantly increasing the number of women in senior operating roles;

· Measuring targets and maintaining accountability by providing regular progress reports;

· Basing career progress on business results and performance, rather than physical presence in the office; and

· Providing sponsors, not just mentors, to women well positioned for long term success.

“Many of our efforts align with the Paradigm for Parity® Five-Point Action Plan and include programs and initiatives such as FLOW, our Flexibility Optimizes Work initiative, which inspires a more agile leadership style and fosters a more progressive culture that ultimately attracts a more gender balanced, multigenerational workforce. As well as our Implicit Bias training, which we have scaled for global deployment, to continue to eliminate unconscious bias and raise D&I awareness.

“In addition, we continue to track progress and focus on the representation of woman at all levels of our organization. Being intentional in our efforts, particularly with practices like ensuring our executive team members sponsor a woman in the leadership pipeline and linking incentives to our goal of attaining 40% women in leadership by 2025, has been instrumental us seeing increases in the number of women on our board (currently 60%), our executive team (currently 37%) and in senior leadership roles (currently 33% — an increase from 32% last year).”

Beth Amato, the Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer of UTC, tells us how the company is closing the gap and the progress they are making.

“At UTC, we believe that we benefit from the ideas, perspectives and contributions that diversity and inclusion brings. It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it. By coming together, and committing to the goals of Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we are making UTC a place where we all feel like we belong — and our input is valued.

“The Paradigm for Parity® coalition five-point roadmap has been instrumental in guiding our diversity and inclusion action plans. Our teams have embraced sponsorship — making it a critical component of our journey to parity. Our most senior leaders are more engaged than ever and sponsoring over 100 women and people of color. Our women are now being promoted at an increasing rate, and given more opportunities to develop and grow. And today, 29.5% of our global executives are women and 38% of our Board of Directors are women.

“UTC is ‘all in.’ We are all in to bring people together with different viewpoints, experiences and backgrounds. We are all in to reach gender parity among our senior leadership by 2030. And we are all in to create an extraordinary future.”