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Women are better for business, says Booz & Co
Educated and ambitious, the GCC’s female population is key to solving economic issues in the region. Booz & Co shows you the whys and how to get on the bandwagon.
January 29, 2012 2:56 by Precious de Leon
“At the outset, all relevant stakeholders, both internal and external, must understand the program and its objectives. This may require overcoming misguided but still prevalent perceptions among some about the roles of women in society, or their ability to succeed in the private-sector workplace,” said Ramez Shehadi, partner, Booz & Co.
Because these perceptions can be stubborn, changing them within companies must start from the top. Companies must line up support and commitment from the board and executive vice presidents (EVPs), who must lead by example. Senior management should actively monitor key metrics through dashboards or score cards that track turnover, the number of women in senior positions, and other relevant indicators.
At lower levels, the company should identify middle management champions for the program. These champions can begin spreading awareness of the program in advance, along with motivating their staff to embrace the change. They can overcome unforeseen obstacles at that level—through a performance-driven approach—and identify and communicate challenges up the chain of command.
Finally, companies will need to add a diversity-management component to the slate of mandatory training required of all employees. It is not sufficient to simply prepare women to join the labor force; management must prepare the rest of the employees to make the integration of women a company-wide success as well.
The entire company should build on small successes, potentially through recognition via in-house communications such as internal magazines or newsletters, or through awards given to the department that has the greatest proportion of women employees, or the largest number of women in leadership roles.