The Path to Parity with Paradigm for Parity’s 5-Point Action Plan

Women are underrepresented at almost every level in the corporate pipeline, and they are drastically underrepresented at the senior levels. And while company commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high, calls for greater diversity haven’t moved the needle.

There is widespread agreement that more needs to be done. The Paradigm for Parity® 5-Point Action Plan is the solution. When implemented together, the five steps can catalyze change and enable substantial progress towards gender parity.

As part of our Path to Parity series, this week we’re showcasing the third step in the Action Plan: Measuring targets and maintaining accountability by providing regular progress reportswith insights from Paradigm for Parity®companies.

Candace Duncan, a founding member of Paradigm for Parity®, at a Congressional Forum in October said it best: “What gets measured, gets done”.


When a company joins Paradigm for Parity®, it commits to achieve gender parity across all leadership levels. Measuring progress and reporting the results, assures accountability and that change actually happens.

Gail Jackson, the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at UTC, points out: “Our business is driven by metrics, and we are competitive by nature. We set goals for what is truly important and we communicate our progress. Why wouldn’t we set goals for advancing women?”

Julie Fasone Holder, a founding member of Paradigm for Parity®explains: “We set goals for every important part of our companies; if we are to be successful in building a diverse workforce, we must measure our progress and be accountable for it. Diversity & Inclusion is the only important metric I can think of that we have given ourselves a pass on for many years.”

A recent study found that the biggest challenges companies face when trying to achieve diversity and inclusion goals are 1) lack of benchmarks, 2) budgetary constraints and 3) challenges working across functional areas.

Jacqueline Trapp, Chief Human Resources Officer of Edison International, explains the value of metrics: “Metrics provided on a regular basis matter because they are a way for leadership to track, measure, communicate progress (or lack thereof), and demonstrate commitment. By communicating regularly, it provides the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of our efforts and make corrections along the way.”

Steve Mizell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Monsanto, points out: “Metrics form the crucial feedback loop that every leader needs to create an inclusive, diverse, vibrant workforce. Metrics alone are not an indicator of success in diversity but without them failure is assured.”

According to the 2017 McKinsey-Lean In Report on Women in the Workplace, while 85 percent of companies track gender representation by level, 43 percent do not share the insights with employees.

Agnieszka Yank, Chief Talent Officer of APCO Worldwide, explains the importance of transparency. “APCO Worldwide is a majority employee-owned company, and believes transparency in the review processes is key to empower people to do great work within a supportive environment that focuses on individual strengths, goals and growth opportunities. Employees create goals and KPIs to measure their success, have constant access to online information on salary bands and expectations of each position, and enjoy direct lines of communication with every person in the firm, including senior management.”

Joyce Russell, President of Adecco Staffing USA, talks about the importance of measuring even the smallest of successes: “Metrics are especially important to Equal Pay and Diversity initiatives, which so often get approached from a feel good perspective with limited facts and figures around real improvements. While it can take time to make the shifts needed to achieve substantial metrics, quantifying even the smallest successes over time can lead to impressive growth when you compare the year-to-date or year-over-year efforts.”

Laura Mably, Vice President of Human Resources at AstraZeneca, speaks to the changes that occur once company executives begin to see the data. “When a Manager sees how their gender diversity compares to other areas of our business, or to other companies, or to the population of their region — it can have a big impact. When they start viewing the promotion decisions against metrics of proportionality it too can change behavior. Putting objective data in the hands of our leaders is an important step in helping them make great decisions. It also serves to hold them accountable for the micro decisions that ultimately drive the make-up of our organization.”

Establishing a system of metrics to calculate diversity and inclusion is a significant barrier to achieving parity. The Paradigm for Parity® coalition suggests measuring metrics in four areas: attract, retain, advance and sponsor. These metrics should be analyzed holistically with the overall goal of improving gender at the company.

About the Paradigm for Parity® Movement

The Paradigm for Parity® coalition is composed of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics who are committed to achieving a new norm in corporate leadership: one in which women and men have equal power, status, and opportunity.

The coalition created the Paradigm for Parity® 5-Point Action Plan for corporations to accelerate the pace of gender equity in senior executive roles. This unique agenda defines bold and specific actions that, taken together and simultaneously implemented as a package, will catalyze change and enable today’s business executives to secure the best leaders of tomorrow. Visit or follow us on Twitter using @p4parity to learn more about this exciting initiative.