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Gender Diversity in the Workplace: An Essential Element to Success

How Gender Diversity in the Workplace Creates Success
Sheryl Coonan
Written by Sheryl Coonan

In today’s business world, it’s more evident than ever that gender diversity is essential to the workplace. Not only is this true in terms of equality, but also rings true to the company’s bottom line.

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As women in business, it can be tough to break through the proverbial glass ceiling, ensure we are heard and be compensated equally to our male counterparts. However, successful companies know — and research supports — the value of gender diversity in the workplace. We’ve gathered thoughts from the experts on how gender and diversity affect companies, so read on to learn more.

Gender Diversity and the Bottom Line

In today’s business world, it’s more evident than ever that gender diversity is essential to the workplace. Not only is this true in terms of equality, but also rings true to the company’s bottom line. A recent Gallup study indicates that workforce diversity actually improves a company’s financial performance.

The study analyzed more than 800 business units from two companies in the hospitality and retail space and found that business units whose employees are diverse in gender have more positive financial outcomes than those dominated by a single gender.

Here are more highlights of the study:

  • The retail company business units with employees who are gender diverse have a 14 percent higher revenue than their counterparts who aren’t gender diverse.
  • The business units part of the hospitality company revealed 19 percent higher quarterly profits than those units that are not as diverse.
  • Business units in the retail and hospitality space that were gender diverse and highly engaged experienced dramatic financial benefits — a 46 and 56 percent increase in revenue, respectively

A McKinsey study mimics these sentiments, finding that, despite women continuing to be underrepresented at the top of corporations on a global level, diverse workforces lead to better financial success. The study noted that companies in the top quartile for employees that are gender diverse are more likely to see financial returns above the industry median — upward of 15 percent.

Diverse Leadership

With women-led companies performing three-times better over the S&P 500, it seems more savvy businesses would jump on the train of hiring and promoting women into executive positions.

Among the companies leading the way with gender diverse leadership is Nitto Tire U.S.A., Inc. Keiko Brockel is one of the first female presidents of a tire company. And though she’s humble about admitting she’s a trailblazer in the industry (and business in general), she credits being promoted to COO to the company’s progressive nature. Brockel notes, in her previous role, five of the eight senior managers on her team were, indeed, women.

The company’s forward-thinking culture is also apparent in its transparency — both internally and with customers. Brockel says this allows Nitto and its valued customers to experience shared objectives and a shared spirit of working collaboratively toward goals.

Brockel says she wanted her position because she was eager for a change. However, she candidly noted she wasn’t sure she’d be given the opportunity.

Further, many female CEOs have been credited for turning around companies and leading them to success. Ursula M. Burns was the first African-American woman to head up a Fortune 500 company and made company history when, under her leadership, the company made their biggest acquisition ever when it bought Affiliated Computer Services.

Despite women holding more Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 leadership roles than ever, it’s still tough for women to advance in the workplace and diminish the wage gap. But with dynamic women like Brockel and Burns leading the way for women everywhere, the glass ceiling is more likely to become less prominent and, one day, be shattered.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

Physically, I accepted that I am not a runner by nature. However, through perseverance (and pain!) I trained and completed a 10-mile run. Professionally, I have realized that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Those who epitomize what success looks like have, like the rest of us, gone through periods of insanely hard work, frustration and failure to get where they are.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate my ability to be vulnerable, honest and authentic.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I am most proud of achieving my goal of hosting a TV show. It had been a lifelong dream of mine since watching the Today Show as a child. I realized that dream in 2014 as host of Metro Arts Detroit and I loved every minute of it.  

I would still love to work at the Today Show! I feel I am a curious question-asker by nature and I love interviewing others and hearing their take on important topics. We can learn so much from each other if we’d only ask…and listen.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

Hmmm…I think everything I do is in a not-so-perfect way. 🙂 I mean, if we were all perfect, life would be pretty boring! 

I love information so I am constantly thinking (and thinking and thinking!) and asking and researching…sometimes to a fault. I am also pretty sensitive, which can be a blessing and a curse. I try not to let the world harden my spirit and remind myself of something my grandmother told me, which is that if someone is hurting me, at least that means they are leaving someone else alone.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my ability to continue to dream. I have so many dreams that I’d like to achieve. And though many don’t seem likely, I still believe in them and plan to achieve them.

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About the author

Sheryl Coonan

Sheryl Coonan

Sheryl Coonan is a lifestyle, fashion, career and tech writer from metro Detroit.