International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the strides women have made in their fight for equal rights — in society and in the workplace. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Balance for Better,” is a call-to-arms that a more gender-balanced world is a better world — and the Paradigm for Parity® coalition could not agree more.
We continue our celebration of Black History Month by recognizing leaders from several of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition companies. The five women below are inspiring others with their professional achievements and impact on their organization’s corporate culture.
To celebrate Black History month, the Paradigm for Parity® coalition is recognizing trailblazers who have been leaders working for gender and racial parity both in society and within their own organizations.
This month, we spoke with the Publisher and CEO of Diversity Woman Media, Dr. Sheila Robinson. Dr. Robinson is a former corporate executive turned successful entrepreneur and media executive who has a keen understanding of how gender and race interplay in the workplace. She uses her media platform to advocate for, lift up and advise women of color to help them succeed in the corporate world. Dr. Robinson also serves as a member of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition steering committee.
Black History Month honors the legacy of the women and men who were pioneers in advancing civil and equal rights. It is a time to celebrate the progress in leveling the playing field for people of color, and to acknowledge that we have a long way to go to achieve true parity in both the workplace and in society as a whole.
Women and men enter the workforce at the same rate, but as women climb the corporate ladder the percent of women in leadership positions drops significantly, according to the 2018 Women in the Workplace report. Paradigm for Parity® coalition companies are working to prioritize diversity as they hire and promote employees. Executives from Bloomberg LP, Ingersoll Rand and Willis Towers Watson share the steps they are taking to get more women into leadership positions.
Unconscious bias can create barriers that greatly impact women in the workplace. That’s why the first step in the Paradigm for Parity® coalition 5-Point Action Plan encourages companies to minimize or eliminate unconscious bias. AEP, Eastman and Juniper Networks are three companies that are working to help employees understand and address their own biases.
The research is clear — companies that are diverse perform better. A 2018 McKinsey study shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than other companies.
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.
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.