Gender Diversity Recruitment is not the only answer to achieving a more gender diverse workforce.

Gender Diversity Recruitment is not the only answer to achieving a more gender diverse workforce.

We at Genovate Consulting partner with organizations to provide robust gender diverse recruitment strategies to hire the best female talent, but are organizations working hard enough to retain their female talent?

A survey of global workers by consulting firm Ernst & Young last year found that flexibility was the top feature workers want in a job, ranked just above competitive pay and benefits. They also cited a lack of it as among the top reasons they would quit. Has your organisation adopted a flexible work policy and if not, why not? If your organisation has a flexible work policy, is it really working??

Although many organizations have introduced flexibility in their culture, sustaining and implementing it has been a challenge.

According to a 2015 survey conducted jointly by Lean In and McKinsey & Company; 82% of the companies offered workers the chance to work from home, however, only 45% of women and 38% of men actually did so. The other programs like reduced schedules, working part-time and leaves of absence had an even lower participation rate viz. 12% of women and 11% of men opting for reduced schedules; 2% of both genders for part-time, and 7% of women and 8% of men taking leaves of absence. Even with more and more companies offering flexible options, employees are often hesitant about settling with them. The reason, “it might harm my career”, “my peers might think I am not dedicated enough”, and the list goes on.

We believe that the reason a flexible work policy isn’t yielding the results it needs is because of a couple of factors.

Firstly, Organisations fail to communicate their openness and acceptance around these flexibility initiatives. Once a policy is introduced, making it the culture by demonstrating it from top down so that employees don’t feel uncomfortable or uneasy should they wish to work to a flexible schedule. The Executive and leadership teams would need to not only promote flexibility but also adopt it in their own work style. This would, in turn, instil a sense of confidence down within their organizations that one can be both flexible and grow their career at the same time.

Another approach should be to reward talented performers based on their productivity irrespective of their work schedules. Research has proven that often employees with a flexible work schedule yield a higher output and work more efficiently.

Secondly, achieving a more gender diverse workforce is not only about recruiting more women into your leadership teams and workforce but it is also about investing time and money in developing your current female talent, educating your hiring managers on unconscious bias and creating a policy that is conducive to retaining female talent.

We only partner with organisations to recruit more women to promote gender diversity but if organisations aren’t playing their part to retain and promote their female talent then we are only back where we started.

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