EY - Gender parity: the time is now

Women. Fast forward

Gender parity: the time is now

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Time passes slowly when change is overdue. The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2015 estimates it will take until 117 years to achieve global gender parity in the workplace. One hundred and seventeen years until companies and governments are equally led by men and women. And 117 more years of talent pipelines and professional promise not fully realized.

Must we wait so much longer? At EY, we say no.

The world economy is driven by sustainable value and business growth, which depend upon attracting, optimizing and retaining all talent. It’s in every organization’s and every nation’s best economic interest to fully utilize and optimize the talents of women.

Some may ask why we should act — is this just a “feel-good” exercise? Absolutely not. It’s an economic imperative. The world economy is driven by sustainable value and business growth, which depend upon attracting, optimizing and retaining all talent. It’s in every organization’s and every nation’s best economic interest to fully utilize and optimize the talents of women.

There’s a large and growing body of research, including a new survey we commissioned from Longitude Research, showing that accelerating women’s advancement in the workplace and creating gender-balanced teams produce better outcomes and create prosperity.

This should come as no surprise — that’s half of the overall talent in the world that would become fully engaged and utilized, while investing money back into the economy, families and savings.

Let’s recap some of the highlights of recent research:

  • More equality → higher GDP.
  • More equality → more productivity.
  • Better gender balance on boards → better share price and financial performance.
  • More gender-balanced leadership → better all-around performance.
  • More women political leaders → more prosperity.

 
EY - Portrait of Uschi Schreiber
 
 
 
 
“We have seen how truly diverse and inclusive teams — which include a balance of men and women as well as people with many other differences — stimulate innovation and generate new ways of problem-solving, all of which lead to better decision-making and results.” - Uschi Schreiber, Chair, Global Accounts Committee & Vice Chair, Global Markets
 

Why wait?

We recognize that we are all on a journey, and it will take time for every leader in every business in every country to embrace the full potential of women in the workforce. However, we can help accelerate that change by working together to reinvent gender roles, reset norms and provide equal opportunities for all.

The ideas presented in this report are recommended accelerators, but they are not the only ones. More work and more ideas are surely needed.

Let’s ask ourselves what we will do to accelerate women’s progress in the workplace. One hundred and seventeen more years is far too long to wait to achieve workplace gender parity and enjoy the enrichment it will offer all of us.