Recognized every year on March 8, International Women’s Day honors the contributions and achievements of women in our world. The 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge, highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world.
Companies Making Progress in Gender Diversity Efforts
This month, we’ll be highlighting a variety of companies who are “choosing to challenge,” and as a result, are making tremendous progress in their gender diversity efforts and the strategies they are deploying. We’ll uncover the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), culture initiatives, and recruiting strategies that are finding success.
Providing platforms for women to share knowledge and network
HERE’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) connects HERE female employees with mentors and sponsors. WIN also organizes an annual global tech event called WITness that provides a platform for women at HERE to share technical, business, career and personal knowledge and insights.
At the global level, the Women's Initiative Network (WIN) was formed to help promote gender equality in the workplace. The WIN program has built partnerships in certain regions to address the issue of mentoring the next generations of young engineers — seeding diversity in the classroom. “Where we’re able, we also support those partners with corporate funding,” says SVP of Automotive, Ralf Herrtwich. About tracking progress, Herrtwich said, “Among the tasks of its [Diversity and Belonging (IDB) Program] members are to constantly monitor our state of gender pay equality, workforce diversity, and balancing the equations so that we answer with hiring directives and acquisition events.”
Act Two: helping relaunch careers
The Act Two career relaunch program at NBCUniversal is a six-month paid, fixed-term role for experienced professionals returning to the workforce after taking time off for personal reasons such as caregiving. The program is open to women and men who have at least five years of professional experience and have been out of the paid workforce (in an office/corporate environment) for at least two years.
The Act Two Returnship Program allows for a connection and sense of community among fellow cohorts. One participant, Allison, said that all participants shared one thing — similar concerns about transitioning back into the workforce after taking time off for personal reasons. Relaunching her career has given Allison a destiny of her own and the freedom to pursue her passions.
Developing women leaders at all levels
In 2020, for the 10th consecutive year, KPMG has been recognized by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) for the firm's ongoing commitment to advancing women in the workplace, earning a spot on the prestigious 2020 Top Companies for Executive Women list. This award recognizes organizations that have a strong focus on best practices that move women to senior ranks, including mentoring, sponsorship, involvement in employee resource groups and leadership development training.
Women’s Advisory Board (WAB)
KPMG's progress can be attributed, in part, to leadership support for women, as well as the many efforts of the firm's Women's Advisory Board (WAB) and KPMG’s Network of Women (KNOW). KNOW chapters across the country deliver programs that help drive networking, professional growth, leadership, personal development and career opportunities for women, and strongly encourage men’s involvement. Thanks to the efforts of WAB, since 2003, the percentage of women partners at KPMG has increased significantly, rising 62%. Not to mention that KPMG’s CEO is a woman, and women comprise 33% of the board of directors.
KPMG Future Leaders Program
Another initiative is the KPMG Future Leaders Program, which is focused on developing future generations of female leaders. Funded by proceeds from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, the KPMG Future Leaders Program annually awards 22 top female high school seniors from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to enhance their personal growth through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat, mentorship from a female executive who participated in the Summit, and an introduction to golf. More than $2.6 million in scholarships have been given to 100 recipients since the Program’s inception in 2016.
Shown here, commercial spotlights of the importance of supporting the education and development of future leaders.
Recharging with PayPal
Through the Recharge program, PayPal encourages skilled technologists who have taken a career break for personal or family reasons to feel equipped to return to the workforce. “Through Recharge, we offer the opportunity to participate in a boot camp and apply for a 16-week paid program geared toward helping qualified technologists make a smooth transition back into the workforce.”
Building a more diverse “board” and bench
Not only is Pinterest diversifying their workforce and recruitment efforts, but also providing better representation on Pinterest itself. One example is a feature Pinterest piloted in 2018 to give people a more inclusive way to discover beauty ideas. The company had heard from Pinners of color who were frustrated that they had to work so hard to find the most personally relevant ideas to them. A cross-functional group came together from across the company, including members of our engineering, inclusion and diversity, and product teams. They reached out to Pinners and looked at ways to improve machine learning technology and content. The result was a feature that allows people to customize their beauty search results by skin tone.
From a sourcing perspective, the company focused on diversifying where they sourced candidates. Pinterest also provided unconscious bias training for interviewers and managers.
As a result, the company increased hiring rates for people from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in non engineering roles as well as increased representation of women overall in tech. In 2019, when this was reported, women made up 47% of the company overall and in tech.
1) Share stories of women who are succeeding across all levels of your organization.
Both women and men are equally likely to visit a company’s LinkedIn page and research a company’s culture prior to applying for a job. When women see themselves represented in your company’s recruiting collateral, they’re more likely to apply.
2) Making your company an attractive place to work.
There are other initiatives that help in the long term. Consider showcasing your company’s commitment to gender parity, helping to attract talent from both traditional and untapped resources. It’s important to highlight your company’s commitment to gender parity in visible ways to attract more women and men who want to work in a more diverse environment.
3) Invest in your pipeline.
Sponsor events, underwrite scholarships, pay fellows or interns of the communities you are trying to reach. Start a mentoring program. Underwrite training for young developers, returning workers such as mothers, and female STEM students. To quote Anthea Watson Strong: 'Mid-level superstars don’t just magically appear from heaven, they are nurtured and grown.' Help grow them. That means always, always, always give more than you take."
4) Create Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are becoming far more prevalent in the workplace, as firms struggle to practice diversity hiring and employee inclusion and to promote and maintain a level of employee engagement that curtails turnover. The first step in creating an ERG is to ensure that you have a business charter that is vetted and ensure that you have executive sponsorship. From that point, you need to recruit members and measure success. See the Resource Group Primer for more information on getting started.
How Turazo Can Help
Turazo exponentially scales your efforts to reach a broader and more diverse candidate pool. Using Turazo, you can proactively reach, engage, and build trusted relationships with candidates from different backgrounds and experiences, from across the country. Turazo enables you to expand your reach by 10 to 20 times while consolidating your sourcing channels into a single talent pool. Here are a few examples of leading companies that are engaging diverse job seekers successfully. Their stories illustrate effective strategies and programs that create genuinely inclusive workplaces.