The Paradigm for Parity® 5-Point Action Plan is comprised of actionable steps that companies can take to achieve gender parity in corporate leadership by 2030. Our 92 committed companies are using the action plan to design programs and practices within their own companies to close the gender gap. Edison International, Heidrick & Struggles and VF Corporation are making meaningful changes within their companies to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

Jacqueline Trapp, the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Edison International, discusses how the company is engaging its Women’s Roundtable to create change.

“At Edison International, our commitment to gender diversity starts with the notion you can’t change what you can’t see. Since joining the Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we have increased our transparency on pay, access, advancement, and the environment for women in our organization. This past summer we brought this transparency to a conversation with Edison’s Women’s Roundtable members, our employee resource group focused on women in the workplace. Top company executives engaged Roundtable members in an open conversation around pay equity at Edison. Supported by extensive data analysis, we demonstrated that men and women earn equal pay for equal work at Edison. Even so, we recognize more men are in higher paying jobs and we therefore need to effect broader change to advance more women into leadership. In the fall, female members of our Board of Directors engaged with Women’s Roundtable to further the conversation. These forums led us to create a framework to look at the experience of women holistically and to advance initiatives that best move the needle on our high potential talent. At Edison, we’re committed to creating the clean energy future with the best and brightest talent and we recognize women as pivotal to our success.”

Lisa LaForte, Women’s Leadership Development Program Manager for Heidrick & Struggles, showcases a new initiative that the company put in place to drive gender equality.

“As a global leader in executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping, Heidrick & Struggles understands the critical importance of Diversity and Inclusion, and we are committed to being the D&I leader in our industry.

In 2017, we became the first organization to have both the Chairman of our Board and our CEO sign the Paradigm for Parity® coalition commitment statement and join them in their call to action for gender equality.

“Today, we have two female executives on our Board of Directors, as well as women leading our largest global businesses, including our financial services and technology practices, and offices in key locations around the world.

“This year, we launched our Accelerating Women’s Excellence (AWE) initiative to:

· Promote gender parity through a culture of sponsorship;

· Advance the skills of current leaders and high potential women; and

· Create a pipeline of candidates who can be promoted to broader leadership roles.

“Our first AWE program cohort included 23 top female consultants from the Americas and Europe. The response was incredibly positive:

· ‘This is a huge catalyst for helping us break through to top leadership roles.’

· ‘There is growing awareness that women need more sponsors versus mentors.’

· ‘This is changing the way we work internally and how we do business.’

“We are excited to continue growing our programs and are deeply committed to increasing the number of women in top leadership positions globally, both for our firm and for our clients.”

Anita Graham, Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President for VF Corporation, details the specific actions the company is taking to close the gender gap.

“Since VF Corporation joined the Paradigm for Parity® coalition in 2016 and pledged to achieve gender parity in our corporate leadership by 2030, we have made meaningful progress in our efforts. We have hired more than 13,000 women worldwide — from the boardroom to the factory floor. Our focus on having a clear strategy and taking deliberate actions, combined with our partnership with fellow coalition companies, have strengthened our workforce and culture by putting our commitment to Inclusion & Diversity at the center of everything we do. Some of our actions include:

· Strengthening our commitment by extending our pledge for gender parity beyond senior leadership to the director level;

· Launching Inclusion & Diversity dashboards, which are shared on a quarterly with the top 50 leaders in our company;

· Establishing a Global Women’s Activation Council, comprising women business leaders from diverse industries and geographies to help us stay focused on advancing our inclusion, diversity and gender parity goals;

· Holding our first Women’s Leadership Summit in the Asia Pacific region to highlight opportunities for the growth and development of women leaders within the region; and,

· Launching new multicultural and women-focused employee resource groups (ERGs) to foster increased engagement and networking opportunities among women.

“Conversations about inclusion and diversity in general, and about advancing gender parity specifically, are now a regular part of our culture, our talent management processes and our operating business reviews. And while we are pleased with our progress, we recognize that we are in the early stages of an ongoing journey to be a highly inclusive place to work and build a career. We are and will remain sharply focused on our Inclusion & Diversity efforts and delivering on our commitments. We are also proud to partner with other like-minded companies to champion gender equality as part of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition.”