Gender Parity has emerged as one of the leading business issues of our time. While various international organizations includingthe World Economic Forum to the World Bank are taking note, they are not the only ones. Governments have also been increasingly eying gender parity as a key economic as well as social issue, with the OSC following the EU lead in considering requirements for Board representation and other initiatives for example.
The business case for better integration of male and female into organizations' use of their human capital is difficult to refute, and the private sector is catching on. Investors, multinational corporations, SMEs, public and non-profit sectors, and the general public are increasingly on board.
Our world has a long history of failing to effectively engage a full half of prospective human capital. While this has rapidly shifted in a short period of time, organizations have not kept up with social shifts and the gaps are easily seen. Across the spectrum from employee retention and productivity to internal and external scandals, organizations routinely face many issues as a result of those gaps. Yet, the evidence is mounting that organizations benefit from gender parity: the equitable and effective incorporation of men and women in the whole of human capital and organizational culture.
Gender parity can mean equal representation of men and women on decision making bodies; it can mean pay equity; it can mean equal rights and opportunities. When we at Prosparity think of it, we think of course of all of these things, but to us it means more than parity in numbers - it means perspective, principle and process. One must understand the impacts of gender in order to remove the barriers gender can build. There are a myriad of ways to incorporate this kind of understanding into an organization - from policies and training, to mentorship and partnership programs amongst all levels of staff and management. It doesn't have to cost a fortune either... but it could save you one.