The 5-Point Action Plan

The Paradigm for Parity® 5-Point Action Plan is designed to help companies accelerate the pace of achieving gender parity. Based on extensive research and best practices, this is the first set of specific actions that, when concurrently implemented, will catalyze change and enable companies to more effectively increase the number of women in leadership positions.


Minimize or Eliminate Unconscious Bias. Initiate unconscious bias training. Engage women and men at all levels, starting with the CEO and senior leadership. Ensure that your company leaders comprehend, own and address the conscious and unconscious biases that prevent women from succeeding.


Significantly Increase the Number of Women in Senior Operating Roles. Make full gender parity (50/50) your ultimate goal. As a near term goal, target that a single gender will not account for more than 70% of a leadership level, from the Executive Management Group downward. Move to 60% as a medium term goal. 


Measure Targets at Every Level and Communicate Progress and Results Regularly. Set measurable goals and hold yourself and your senior team accountable. Communicate results to your wider organization and board. Expect meaningful progress each year, with the aim of parity by 2030. Work with investors as they increase the pressure to measure and monitor diversity progress. Share statistics with other CEOs and consider publishing results over time.


Base Career Progress on Business Results and Performance, Not on Presence. Give women and men control over where and how they work, whenever workable. Acknowledge the needs and expectations of Millennials, an important talent pool. Find ways to work more flexibly to meet the needs of all employees. Create cultural change so that working flexibly is embraced, and not an underused and over talked about benefit.


Identify Women of Potential and Give Them Sponsors, as well as Mentors. Meritocracy is an often used, and more importantly misused, belief because our biases affect our view of performance and merit. Women of all backgrounds need career sponsors and access to networks of influence. Men, who are still the majority of leadership, have a critical role to play in advocating for women, both internally and in the wider corporate world. Look for the best within your organization and help them to succeed by assigning each woman a mentor and a sponsor.



To assist companies in meeting the goal of gender parity by 2030, the coalition has developed a toolkit comprised of useful and practical actions a company can take, with a focus on:

1. Better understanding the baseline;

2. Improving intake; and,

3. Managing with a diversity mindset.

What Leaders Are Saying

What Leaders Are Saying


"Gender equality advances a more just society and is a fundamental pillar of any modern creative company. We are proud to stand with Paradigm for Parity."
– Matt Jarvis, CEO and Partner, 72andSunny

“Inclusion and diversity are essential for success and relevance in today’s world, and I am driven by the belief that diversity makes organizations stronger, smarter and more innovative. As part of Paradigm for Parity® coalition, we are proud to work with other leading companies to achieve gender parity in business.”
– Pierre Nanterme, Chairman & CEO, Accenture

“We invest in women at all levels of our company because it is the only way to ensure we have the most talented teams we need to work with our clients and to operate in the communities we serve. We have strong representation of women, including more than 50% of our employees, nearly 40% of our management team, and nearly 30% for our board of directors. We share the objectives of Paradigm for Parity® and will continue to build on the progress we’ve made.”
– Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America

"Gender parity is critical for companies’ continued success and growth. Including more women, especially in senior leadership roles, adds diversity of opinion and leads to better decision-making and stronger financial performance. Bloomberg continues to focus on gender parity through our leadership of the U.S. 30% Club, the launch of a gender-equality index and other company and industry initiatives. We are proud to sign the Paradigm for Parity® pledge and look forward to our work with the organization."
– Peter Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg

“Burson-Marsteller has long been an advocate for gender parity and women’s empowerment. In 2016, we introduced a new offering, Burson-Marsteller Advantage Women, focused on helping clients take full advantage of the benefits associated with closing the gender gap and creating more opportunities for women to rise as leaders. We are pleased to continue working toward addressing the gender imbalance prevalent in corporate leadership positions through our partnership with the Paradigm for Parity Movement.”
– Don Baer, Worldwide Chair & CEO, Burson-Marsteller

“Cargill is proud to be among the first to sign on to the Paradigm for Parity®. We believe inclusive teams deliver value, and we are committed to doing the important work to make gender parity a reality.  Whether it’s diversifying the board room or providing opportunities for women working on the frontlines of food, agriculture and nutrition, we are taking action to build a company where employees thrive.”
– Dave MacLennan, Chairman & CEO, Cargill

"We support this initiative not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because we know we can’t reach our full potential as a business unless we recruit, hire, develop and retain women leaders as part of a diverse leadership team that represents the markets we serve.  While we’ve made good progress in recent years, we are committed to pressing toward parity and believe the learning we gain through this network will help us scale our work even faster." – Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

“As a member of the Paradigm for Parity® coalition and a CEO who has pledged to advance its roadmap, I appreciate the implications of implementation for CEOs, both male and female. Paradigm for Parity® addresses the gender gap by defining simple, actionable steps that will create change. By taking these steps, we will advance the leadership and the success of our businesses.”
– Ann Drake, CEO, DSC Logistics

“Edison International is pleased to support the Paradigm for Parity® coalition efforts to strengthen gender balance in senior corporate leadership positions. I am proud to join CEOs across major industries in this commitment to advancing gender equity and expanding the numbers of women in leadership.”
– Pedro Pizarro, President & CEO, Edison International

“Paradigm for Parity® is a call to action for enabling a mindset shift that will drive towards more diverse and inclusive executive leadership at the top of organizations in the US, and around the world.”
– Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO, Egon Zehnder

"Empowering women is a smart thing for business. Profitability, ROI, innovation—all increase when women are part of an organization’s senior leadership. Building a pipeline of female talent—within EY and in business at large—is an economic imperative. We can’t grow our businesses, jobs and the global economy if we leave 50 percent of the workforce behind. We are proud to support the Paradigm for Parity® coalition to advance this agenda."
– Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman & CEO, EY

“Diversity in leadership and on boards of directors makes a company function better and succeed. Women and men have different perspectives that together lead to better plans and execution. We aim to achieve gender parity at HealthHelp through setting up formal mentoring programs for women and providing continuing education programs for emerging women leaders within the company.”
– Cherrill Farnsworth, CEO, HealthHelp

"Our Paradigm for Parity® commitment builds on the strides we've made to support the professional development of women in our firm. We are committed to creating a firm as diverse as the world we live in to better support our business and our clients."
– Krishnan Rajagopalan, President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles

"Aligning with the core mission of Paradigm for Parity® is consistent with our firm's purpose—to help our clients change the world one leadership team at a time. This includes partnering with our clients to identify, attract and develop highly qualified women leaders as well as to help them foster fully inclusive and high-performing organizations. It begins by exemplifying these same practices inside our own firm."    
– Tracy Wolstencroft, Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles

"Ingersoll Rand is a long-time advocate of creating and fostering gender equality throughout our organization and we are proactively implementing programs to accelerate the pace of increasing representation of women in our leadership roles. The Paradigm for Parity® coalition furthers our commitment to gender equality and signals to the business community that gender-balanced leadership teams bolster employee engagement and are smart for business."
– Michael W. Lamach, Chairman & CEO, Ingersoll Rand



"The most successful women don’t just out do their competitors.  They redefine the terms of competition by empowering unique ideas in a world where too many of us are encouraged to go with the flow.  Innovation requires leadership that is inclusive and collaborative in order for diverse thought to thrive.  Over time, that brand of authentic leadership creates an organizational shift, and in time, a global shift, that will be real and sustainable."
– Denise Pirrotti Hummel, CEO and Chief Innovation Officer, Lead Inclusively, Inc. 

"Our Paradigm for Parity® pledge builds on our broader long-term commitment to advance diversity and inclusion across all LRW companies. LRW’s purpose as researchers and consumer psychologists is to help our clients better understand people. To do this we must leverage the diversity of our employees, their backgrounds, talents, knowledge, and creativity as the foundation for our competitive advantage. If we don’t take action, we are really missing out on a huge part of the talent in this world. It’s just the right thing to do.”
–  David Sackman, Chairman and CEO, Lieberman Research Worldwide

"The economic and business case for women achieving parity in the workplace and in society is clear. We also know that gender inequality is a multi-faceted, entrenched issue and that there is no silver bullet solution. What is critical is for organisations to prioritise the issue and actively experiment with solutions – so that we can learn and scale what works as rapidly as possible.” 
– Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

"Signing the Paradigm for Parity® pledge expands on Monsanto’s efforts to not only promote inclusion and diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, but also within our company’s leadership. While we’re proud to join this growing coalition of companies committed to gender parity in leadership, we recognize there is still much to be done. Through face-to-face and virtual workshops, we’ll continue training employees on how to overcome unconscious bias, and by leaning on our professional networks and mentorship programs dedicated to supporting women scientists, engineers and rising corporate leaders, we’ll significantly increase the number of women in senior operating roles."
– Hugh Grant, Chairman & CEO, Monsanto

“A culture built on inclusiveness is essential to a high-performance organization. At NeoGenomics, we are committed to expand leadership opportunities for women as a way to help us cultivate the dynamic and healthy organization we need to perform at the highest levels for our clients and all stakeholders.”
– Doug VanOort, CEO, NeoGenomics Laboratories

“We believe in the importance of diversity of thought and work to intentionally include various perspectives as we solve problems and develop products for our customers. Women, particularly in leadership roles, are absolutely critical to our purpose of helping people around the world live their best lives. It’s our differences – our unique experiences, backgrounds and talents – that enable us to bring this to life. Joining this initiative helps reinforce our commitment to gender parity in the workplace and gives us actionable steps to continue to create positive change for women in the workplace.”
– Dan Houston, Chairman, President and CEO, Principal

“We are absolutely committed to gender equality and are delighted to sign the Paradigm for Parity Pledge. As the global leader in learning, we already help many of our customers deliver training to counter bias. Our Women in Action Leadership program is very successful and one of the few Leadership programs developed from the ground up for women.  Our own staff has completed this 12-month program - over 830 women across the group. In addition, we have mapped our leadership and business skills content to the Paradigm for Parity’s® 5-Point Action Plan, which will further drive adoption of this critical program.”
– Bill Donoghue, Chairman and CEO, Skillsoft

"We all know the powerful impact that great leadership teams can have. With a conscious commitment and concrete action, we can make meaningful progress in increasing the representation of women in leadership—and more fully leverage our diverse strengths.” 
– Kevin Connelly, CEO, Spencer Stuart

“Synchrony Financial knows that diversity of thought in the workplace is what makes our culture complete. Everyone is better together, and one of our greatest unifying strengths at Synchrony is our diversity & inclusion efforts. Being part of Paradigm for Parity is a natural extension of what we believe in at Synchrony Financial.”
- Margaret Keane, President & CEO, Synchrony Financial

“One of our Core Values is to ‘Celebrate the Power of Individual Differences’,” says TDIndustries’ CEO Harold MacDowell. “By being a part of the Paradigm for Parity® movement, we hope to encourage others in the construction industry to create a culture of diversity and understanding with numerous opportunities to build long, successful careers.”
– Harold MacDowell, CEO, TDIndustries

"UTC is counting on our ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce to fuel the innovation and growth of the future. UTC is committed to the advancement of women in leadership positions—and we are proud to join the Paradigm for Parity coalition to put this commitment into action."
– Greg Hayes, Chairman & CEO, United Technologies Corp

“At Voya, we believe that diversity and inclusion is a competitive advantage and an enabler of business success. We are proud to partner with a movement that aligns with our company culture—and we look forward to continuing to advance gender balance in corporate leadership positions.”
– Rodney O. Martin, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Voya Financial

“Gender-balanced leadership is a priority for Willis Towers Watson. Not only do companies with inclusive leadership have higher financial returns, it’s the right thing to do, and it reflects an ongoing commitment to our core values. For Willis Towers Watson to achieve our goals, we have to draw from and engage a talent pool that includes everyone, not just half the population.”
– John Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson