Celebrating 10 years of Research on Gender Diversity

The global consultancy firm McKinsey started 10 years ago a series of research and reports about how to increase gender diversity in corporations and shape an inclusive labor market for the future.

The key findings are summarized in a recently published article Women matter: Ten Years of Insights on Gender Ddiversity. The figures that these reports provide are always powerful to understand where we are and the advantages that diversity brings. Let me give you some examples:

  • Women account for 50 percent of the global working population and generate 37 percent of global GDP 
  • $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 if the gender gap is narrowed.
  • a study shows 47% higher return on equity of companies with the most women on their executive committees than those with none.

The article summarizes "Ten attributes of an inclusive organization", starting by the need to be "unorthodox" meaning that policies and practices are constantly challenged to take into account the needs of all, not just one dominant group.

The report also highlights the fact that there are fewer women joining STEM disciplines tertiary-level studies.

It also includes the view of 16 global leaders about the topic. For instance, Takeshi Niinami (Suntory Holdings Limited) reminds us of one of the most evident advantages of diversity when he says that "Women bring different perspectives, and, as main decision makers for most purchases, they are especially important in the consumer goods industry." Michel Landel (Sodexo) argues in favour of the traditional definition of diversity, stressing that "We must be a fair representation of the society we live in: it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the way to drive lasting progress, performance, and ultimately, build a more balanced and sustainable world."

I should not continue with more examples, as it is better to read the complete report by yourself, so I will just make a final reference to Justin Trudeau who believes that "Gender diversity—including at the highest levels of leadership—is absolutely critical in our changing economy. In example after example, companies that prioritize gender equality in their leadership outperform ones that don’t."