Gender Diversity – Moving Women into the C-Suite

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International     6-26-2012

Takeaways:  More men think women C-suite managers make a positive difference in a company’s financial success. Yet 80% of companies surveyed have not made gender diversity a strategic issue.

Larger companies are more likely to take action to achieve gender diversity than smaller ones – especially if it’s a top three agenda item. According to a recent McKinsey Global Survey, three key actions have a marked influence on gender diversity:

  1. The CEO visibly monitors women executives
  2. The company has skill-building programs specifically for women
  3. Senior executives are mandated to mentor junior women

Interestingly, regional differences also are evident in approaches to recruiting, retaining, promoting and developing women employees. Companies in China are more likely to use hard measures, such as gender quotas, whereas those in Asia-Pacific and North America are more likely to use flexible measures, such as flexible working conditions or mandated mentoring by senior executives.

Who thinks women matter?

According to the survey, the number of respondents who see a direct connection between diverse leadership teams and financial success, increased by 12 percent since the 2011 survey. Notably, it reflects an increase in the number of men who think women matter. And in companies where diversity is a priority, there are greater numbers of C-Suite women in the ranks.

“Globally, more than 80 percent of respondents say that since the financial crisis began, there has been no change in their companies’ view of gender diversity as a strategic issue, regardless of that view; this figure seems at odds with the rise in the past year in the share of those who believe that companies with more women leaders perform better.” ~ McKinsey Quarterly

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