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Women at work - what works to foster diversity ?

How do you address gender equality in your company? Start counting!

Last night, with Anne Boring, Assistant Professor of Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and current fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program, we uncovered the best strategies consisting in COUNTING and setting clear leadership incentives metrics around:

- Gender pay gap

- Women in leadership positions

- Women retention rate


What else needs to be done to promote women in a slow changing male-dominated world?

How can we motivate women to want to take on new leadership roles?

How can companies foster this change?

How can we help our girls embrace their career path?


Here are a few solutions Anne shared with us :

- Build leadership teams who are open to gender equality and track/count numbers (how many new employees are attacked by gender equality, how many are retained, how many get

promoted, how many take leadership positions, attrition rate…)

- Set policy quotas: tangible and measurable quotas work when there are penalties linked to them. Soft quotas don’t.

- Implement change incentives, such as aligning paternity with maternity leave

- Adapt how job posts are written: avoid superlatives as often this is a barrier to women applying to such job

- BOD: Investors to have clear criteria on how they choose their companies


Another field to investigate is education: Too few women choose tracks that do lead to leadership positions. How can we help increase this?

- Girls need role models. Best impact is about 12 th grade. Get young women to meet women, talk about their job and how great it is (not about how hard it is to be a woman in the job)

- Math: get girls/women in STEM fields, enforce math classes until long in education, learn math even if you’re not math oriented, put forward women in math role models

- Choose your boss not just your company with a great place to work index for women

- Choose companies with existing leadership positions (over 30%). Over 30% women will be

supportive of other women, under 30% women will tend to fight for the seat.

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