Successful organizations ensure everyone belongs
Creating a culture of belonging and inclusivity in the workplace is not simply about gender equality and equal pay. It is about creating workplaces that welcome, understand and celebrate differences, as well as seek new points of view, so that everyone can bring their full selves to work.
A recent study by the EY Diversity & Inclusiveness Center of Excellence in the US showed that diversity and belonging are workplace expectations. More than one-third of respondents – across generations and ethnicities – felt the greatest sense of belonging at work, ahead of their physical neighborhood, and place of worship.
In fact, in the context of work, research shows that when people feel like they belong, they are more productive, motivated and engaged and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their full potential.
It is therefore critical that everyone – men and women alike – feel like they belong in the workplace. If they don’t, motivation and productivity suffers, and that’s not good, for anyone.
That’s why this year, at EY, we are celebrating International Women’s Day through reinforcing the concept of #SheBelongs. While this could have been the tagline for the last 100 years of IWD, it is now more critical than ever that, in a world with so many fissures – politically, socially and economically - women’s full participation in the workforce and in the society is simply an assumption, a given and will soon be the reality.
At EY, we believe there are three areas that organizations need to focus on to accelerate the inclusion of women in the economy:
1. Women in Business
Whilst progression has been made, women are still severely underrepresented in leadership roles within organizations:
- One in five women (22%) sit on S&P500 boards3
- Less than one third (30.2%) of women sit on FTSE100 boards4
- Less than a third of FTSE 350 leadership roles were taken by women (2017)5
Not only this, in some parts of the world, women are excluded financially. In G20 countries, just 40% of women have access to a bank account and although women own a third of small and medium-sized enterprises, they receive only 10% of loans granted by banks.
To address this issue, these are just some of the ways the EY organization is helping to increase the number of women in business, through the EY Women. Fast forward program:
- Creating opportunities for women to participate more easily in the workforce through flexible and remote jobs.
- Embedding gender equality into organizations’ innovation strategy.
- Hiring women from diverse backgrounds in the EY member firms.