Company culture key to gender equality, narrowing pay gap: report

A new research from tech titan Accenture has identified 40 workplace factors that create a culture of equality — including 14 factors that matter the most.

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The research is based on a survey of more than 22,000 working men and women in 34 countries — including more than 700 in the Philippines — to measure their perception of factors that contribute to their workplace cultures. The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews and a detailed analysis of published data on a range of workforce issues.

“Our research shows that in companies with cultures that include the workplace factors that help women advance, men thrive too, and we all rise together,” said Ambe Tierro, senior managing director and Accenture Advanced Technology Center lead in the Philippines.

“We see this research as a powerful reminder that building a culture of equality is essential to achieving gender equality because people, not programs, are what make a company inclusive and diverse.”

Accenture’s research found that in companies where the 40 factors are most common, everyone benefits. In the Philippines, for example, data showed that:

• 96 percent aspire to become senior leaders in their organizations

• 98 percent of employees aspire to get promoted

• 94 percent of employees are satisfied with their career progression

• 95 percent love their job

And, everyone has a better opportunity to advance:

• Globally, women are 35 percent more likely to advance to manager or above

• Men are 23 percent more likely to advance to manager or above

While both women and men advance in companies in which the 40 factors are common, women have the most to gain. If all working environments around the world were like those in which the 40 factors are most common, globally:

• For every 100 male managers, there could be as many as 84 female managers, up from the current ratio of 100 to 34.

• Women’s pay could increase 51 percent, or up to an additional $30,000 per year.

• Women could earn $92 for every $100 a man earns, helping to close the pay gap and lifting women’s total earnings by $2.9 trillion globally.

Setting clear diversity targets, the research found, is a crucial step for leaders who want to strengthen their cultures.

“Culture is set from the top, so if women are to advance, gender equality must be a strategic priority for the C-suite,” said Ellyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer.

“It’s critical that companies create a truly human environment where people can be successful both professionally and personally – where they can be who they are and feel they belong, every day.”

The report, which builds on Accenture’s 2017 research on how digital fluency and technology can close the gender gap in the workplace, grouped the 14 core factors proven to influence advancement into three categories of bold leadership, comprehensive action and an empowering environment.

Key findings for the Philippines in the three categories include:

• Bold leadership: 71% of employees at organizations where leadership are accountable for improving gender diversity say the proportion of women in senior leadership has increased over the past 5 years.

• Comprehensive action: 87% of employees work in organizations with a clear maternity policy in place and where women are encouraged to take leave. Seven out of ten employees work in organizations where men are encouraged to take paternity leave in a women’s network that also includes men.

• An empowering environment: Among the top three factors linked to advancement are: Being given trust and responsibility (70%); training opportunities provided (47%); freedom to be oneself at work (43%).

As part of its celebration of International Women’s Day, Accenture recently announced that women now account for 41 percent of its global workforce, up from just under 40 percent in June 2017, when the company first announced its goal of achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025.

Accenture currently has more than 170,000 women in its global workforce. Over the past several years the company has set — and achieved — milestones on the path to having women account for 50 percent of its workforce by 2025. In the Philippines, Accenture has been able to achieve a healthy gender balance with women accounting for 52% of the workforce across all levels.

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