As we are gearing up for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enterprises and workplaces are left with no choices except adapting to agile, flexible, diverse team structures, as a norm. To remain competitive, companies can’t just ignore women in the global working-age population.
As per a McKinsey report, globally, women generate 37 percent of global GDP, although they account for almost 50 percent of the global workforce. This benchmark varies across various regions in the world; e.g., the share of regional GDP output generated by women is only 17 percent in India. Hence, in the case of the inclusion of women in the workforce, we have a vast scope of improvement.
To become gender-diverse, an organization has to drive equality across all levels. It’s required of managers to focus on increasing gender diversity in business units and creating engaging futuristic workplaces. Open, trusting, and supportive relationships among coworkers and supervisors enable employees to turn their differences in thought, behavior, skills, and knowledge into innovative ideas and efficient practices driving a company forward. The benefits of having a diverse workforce can be manifold:
Utilizing the untapped and lesser used resource pool
Including women in the workforce opens up the avenues of adding the untapped or lesser used resource pool leading to considerable differences to productivity and bottom line. Women and men in the workplace add multiplicity of perspectives to work, leading to creativity and innovation, enabling organizations to identify and seize new opportunities. Having women in teams can help improve team adherence and boost overall group collaboration. Research shows that women have stronger interpersonal and communication skills, and it brings out the best from a diverse group.
Having an inclusive culture in your workplace boosts morale and opportunity. Millennials prefer inclusive workplaces. It tends to have lower employee churn rates resulting in significant savings in terms of time and money spent on recruitments.
Improved brand value
Inclusive employment demonstrates positive company values and a reputation in the recruitment marketplace. As per research by PwC, women millennials look for employers with a strong record on diversity, with 85 percent saying it’s important to them.
Gender-diverse companies are more likely to experience above-average profitability. From the data point, we can conclude that diversity not only benefits the organization to be more productive, efficient, and competitive but also has a positive impact on the bottom line.
The future of diversity at the workplace will be affected by technological advancements and the millennial mindset. Having a gender-diverse workforce will be a critical requirement for any organization in the future; however, diversity related to abilities, race, culture, religion, traditions, etc. will also be essential.
The shift from quantity to quality
In recent years, the increasing number of female employees in the workforce is a clear indication of the fact that the focus has shifted from quantity to quality and whether women employees are involved in decision-making, hold positions of power and influence.
Employees prefer diverse organizations
Employees are attracted towards organizations that provide equal opportunities. They are more aware and better informed, and have a variety of sources to gather this information from.
Providing women employees the opportunity to return
Women at work should be provided with the opportunities to return i.e., enabling women who may be temporarily out of the workforce to re-enter it. In the tech-driven world of the future, technology can enable them to stay connected, remain collaborative, and participate, even when working remotely.
Gen Y and Zers’ attitudes towards gender equality
Younger generations are more likely to be open to diversity and inclusion, and they’re more tech and media savvy. Such traits will help to facilitate workplaces where equality comes first, and there are flatter hierarchies, less bureaucracy, and more collaboration between all employees across levels.
The strategies mentioned below can be incorporated to improve diversity in the workplace:
- Create traceable goals for diversity and evaluate them at each milestone
- Create an open, inclusive culture within the organization
- Leaders to be champions of diversity and drive the initiative
- Remove gender bias in the organization through workshops and interventions
- Create women leadership programs
- Add flexibility into work
There is a lot of scope to improve gender diversity in manufacturing setups across the country. Including women in the workforce provides an edge in the war of talent and leads to the creation of a more collaborative futuristic organization. Going forward, organizations who chose to ignore diversity will do so at their own peril.