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Growing Beyond - High Achievers - Women - Our commitment to gender equality - EY - Global

Growing Beyond - High achievers

Our commitment to gender equality

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Women are the biggest economic growth engines of the next decade.

Gender equity is serious business. Our investment in women includes the following major initiatives:

The female representation of millionaires is even higher. There are many reasons for the success of female entrepreneurs in China, but chief among these are:

  • Teaming with the World Economic Forum to create the Repository of Successful Practices for Gender Parity, which brings together leaders who have taken successful actions toward gender equality in their organizations, countries and communities
  • Participating in The Third Billion Campaign, a global alliance of corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations, academics, foundations and individuals dedicated to helping to prepare and enable one billion underprivileged women to participate in the global economy by 2025
  • Participating in U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's International Council on Women's Business Leadership, a State Department initiative bringing together successful businesswomen from around the world to advise the US government on women's global economic empowerment
  • Running the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program, which identifies and celebrates high-potential female entrepreneurs and provides them with personalized business insights as well as access to strategic networks of established entrepreneurs, advisors and investors (average annual revenue growth for women entrepreneurs since joining the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program: 49%)
  • Supporting the global expansion of WeConnect International, helping women entrepreneurs access the global marketplace
  • Sponsoring Endeavor, a not-for-profit organization that works to identify high-growth innovative companies in rapid-growth markets to improve and grow their businesses

The numbers speak for themselves

Research shows that women in leadership positions can enhance organizational performance in measurable, quantifiable ways. Consider these benchmarks:


Organizational excellence: A study of 101 large corporations showed that companies with three or more women in senior management functions scored higher than companies with no women at the top on nine criteria of organizational excellence, including factors such as leadership, accountability and innovation.


Profitability: A study of eight Fortune 100 companies showed that diverse corporate boards correlated with higher profitability. The average return on equity for companies with a highly diverse board was 25%, compared to only 9% for companies with a uniform board. In another study, the 25 Fortune 500 firms with the best record of promoting women to high positions were between 18% and 69% more profitable than the median Fortune 500 firms in their industries.


Financial indicators: Among Fortune 500 companies, firms with the highest representation of women board directors outperformed those with the least, as measured by return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital (53%, 42% and 66%, respectively).


Firm quality: Data on the top 1,500 US firms from 1992 to 2006 shows a strong correlation between firm quality as measured by Tobin's Q (the market value of a company divided by the replacement value of its assets) and female participation in senior management.


Innovation: A comprehensive study of 1,000 international teams found that innovation correlated positively with an equal gender ratio within work teams and correlated negatively with an unequal ratio.

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