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How companies can solve their talent challenges by addressing gender imbalances in the workforce

New research from Bain & Company shows consistent motivations across women and men, but outcomes that vary significantly due to occupation choice, prioritization of flexibility, and the perpetuation of biases.

By Girl Power News , in News , at September 14, 2022 Tags: , , ,

The last several years have led to substantial disruption in global workforces and talent shortages from the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, the great resignation, rising inflation and potential recession. New Bain & Company research shares that women still make up less than 40% of the global workforce, and participation is declining in many faster-growing, lower-income countries with more non-college-educated women, like India and Nigeria. Women can be a key part of the talent shortage solution. Despite different starting points and cultural contexts, every country has an opportunity to bring more women into the workforce, in order to meet talent needs and advance women’s empowerment. Understanding the differences—and similarities—between women and men at work is critical for addressing gender parity and winning the war for talent.

“While the outcomes of women and men and the workforce vary, the motivations are strikingly similar,” said Bianca Bax, an expert partner and EMEA DE&I leader, Bain & Company. “Men and women have consistent motivations when it comes to work, across factors like financial orientation and camaraderie. They also have similar attitudes on inclusion, with fewer than 30% feeling included in the workplace.”

With intrinsic motivations similar, but outcomes so diverse, Bain & Company’s research takes a look at the three meaningful imbalances that are often at the heart of the gap between women and men in the workforce:

“Successful firms of the future will embrace gender equality among policies (i.e. similar parental leave for all caregivers) along with a move to take a “passport” approach to their careers— where individuals can explore different roles, flexible work, and on- and off-ramps as part of their career journey,” said Andrew Schwedel, partner at Bain & Company and co-chair of the firm’s think tank, Bain Futures. “This cultural change, paired with actions to increase the number of women in leadership roles, can reset the value systems to be more equitable at all levels of the organization.”

Leading firms will proactively address the gender imbalances that hold women back, with senior leaders championing the efforts, to attract and retain top talent. This is critical during a time of continued disruption and talent shortage. The following five imperatives begin to tackle the deeply rooted gender imbalances Bain & Company found in its research with the potential to not just empower women but improve the overall workforce.

Making progress on women and men’s outcomes in the workforce is a multiyear journey and not a quick fix. However, by beginning to implement some of these strategies, firms of the future can combat the current talent shortage and redefine the current work environment increasing opportunities and feelings of inclusion across all workers.

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.