How To Truly Utilize 100% Of Human Capital
PSFK attends this year’s UN Youth Assembly to learn how and why companies should actively participate in fighting for gender equality
Recent news unveiled how Sony paid famous actress Jennifer Lawrence less than her male counterparts. As loud as the uproar was, gender pay gap continues to permeate everywhere. Interestingly enough, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, if women played an identical role in the economy as men, annual global GDP could increase as much as $28 trillion in 2025, 26% of the global GDP. Beyond the moral issue of equality, statistics and reports clearly prove that gender inequality is also inefficient for business.
As PSFK explores leadership and development in our recent Future of Work report, we deep dive into the current landscape of the workplace and the initiatives pushing organizations forward. As a part of our ongoing research, PSFK had the opportunity to attend this summer’s United Nations Youth Assembly to learn more about ‘Planet 50-50,’ the UN’s campaign that aims to get females equal rights and opportunities by the year 2030. Beyond encouraging member states to sign up, part of the goal is to get the private sector involved.
One of the steps to accomplishing this goal is for public and private organizations to actively engage in reconciling work and family life while setting up policies that ensure women have a fair chance at making it to high decision-making levels. A well-known fact is that a company’s competitiveness is completely dependent on the talent that they attract. Therefore, it makes sense to develop and utilize all available human capital, not just half. Organizations can enact this change just by offering flexible hours and better paternity leave for all while promoting mentorship and other support programs.
It has been found that reducing gender inequality increase levels of productivity and profit. During a panel discussion during the UN Youth Assembly, panelist and UN Women intern Zach Kimmel stated that companies have “higher productivity, less job turnover, higher satisfaction rate amongst employees in companies that are actively trying to achieve gender equality.” The future of the workforce has to include women. Organizations must learn to not only attract female talent, but maintain and empower them as well.
One company successfully implementing gender equality is Unilever, which created the Sustainable Living Plan, focusing on integrating gender equality into its business model. Believing that it is the right thing to do and it makes sense to hire and retain females, which makes up 70% of their consumers, Unilever actively set up programs to keep leadership accountable, raise awareness, set clear targets and measures and develop female employees. In 2015, Unilever had 45% of women in management positions.
Senior Advisory Strategic Partnership of UN-Women Ravi Karkara stated that there are too many issues in the world to only empower half of the world’s population to solve. Although the public sector has to create overarching policies and laws that can support gender equality, the private sector has the responsibility of giving women a chance for employment and building them up as leaders as well.
It is simply common sense. Taking advantage of the whole workforce, instead of just half is a smart business decision. Why do companies hold themselves back from reaching their full potential? Utilize all of your options.
Download PSFK’s Future of Work report to gain insight into the policies and tools that leading organizations are adopting to attract and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders today. Take advantage of the full findings, summary presentation, workplace visions and exclusive articles to get your company up to speed on the transformational workplace strategies that are driving innovation in business.