With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

ILO/Crozet M. Winnie Kakunta is in charge of SME development at the Community Relations department for Barrick Lumwana Mining. The company has partnered with the Zambia Green Jobs Programme led by the ILO, to build housing with local and green materials for its employees. (14 November 2015)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Businesses perform better – sometimes by as much as 20 per cent – when they employ more women in top positions, UN labour experts said on Wednesday, warning nonetheless that most still pay lip-service to the idea of gender equality in the boardroom.

In a report covering 13,000 firms in 70 countries, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said that globally, around six in 10 agreed that gender diversity improved their business, with almost as many citing gains in creativity, innovation and reputation.

In terms of profits, almost three-quarters of companies that tracked gender diversity in management positions reported increases of between five and 20 per cent, while the majority saw 10 to 15 per cent growth.

In addition to higher profits, report author Jae-Hee Chang also underlined that having more women in the boardroom also led to more female managers at the entry, medium and senior level.

Despite these positive findings, less than a third of company boards globally have at least 30 per cent female participation – the “critical mass” where the positive effects on the bottom line of more women in senior management begin to kick in, according to ILO. “What happens at the very top leadership does trickle down,” she said. “It does have an association and connection to business performance.”

“It’s clear there are still fewer women in those type of (senior) roles than in the workforce as a whole, and the higher you go in the chain of command in a company… the less likely you are to find a woman”, said Deborah France-Massin, Director of the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities.

At a national level, the UN report also found a correlation between more female employees and increased production, based on data from 186 countries from 1991-2017.

“We expected to see a positive correlation between gender diversity and business success, but these results are eye-opening”, Ms. France-Massin explained. “When you consider the efforts companies make in other areas to get just an extra two or three per cent in profits, the significance is clear: companies should look at gender balance as a bottom line issue, not just a human resource issue.”

Despite the “conscious and unconscious bias” today that prevents women from being exposed to the full range of tasks in businesses that help to ensure career progression, there is some evidence that this discrimination is being addressed, Ms. France-Massin insisted.

This is in part owing to increased education levels that are gradually creating a larger number of talented girls everywhere, she said, before warning gender discrimination in the workplace was potentially a bigger problem than previously thought.

It “goes above and beyond the workplace,” she said. “Workplaces are a microcosm of the societies we are operating in and the culture we are born into. Companies can do so much, but it’s also about societal change and the role of women in society and the acceptance that as the workplace progresses, companies need talent to move forward, and some of those barriers that used to be there need breaking down even further.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

EU’s new sanctions on Russia into force “in the next few days”: strength, weakness or strategy?

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

Myanmar willing to repatriate ‘verified returnees’ from Bangladesh

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

Why the internet is yesterday’s news in China’s digital leap forward

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

FROM THE FIELD: Balancing act for Philippines farmers

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

2019: An unpredictable, confrontational and financially ominous year

Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Mario Draghi quizzed for last time by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

A new European banking space is born this year

China in my eyes

Thursday’s Daily Brief: ambulance attack in Libya, #GlobalGoals defenders, human rights in Cambodia, Swine Fever

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

This is why AI has a gender problem

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

From drone swarms to modified E. Coli: say hello to a new wave of cyberattacks

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Exchanges of medical students and the true understanding of global health issues

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

Acute food insecurity ‘far too high’ UN agency warns, as 113 million go hungry

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Migrant caravan: UN agency helping ‘exhausted’ people home

Millions of people eat octopus- here’s why we shouldn’t

New phenomena in the EU labour market

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

How to build a digital infrastructure that benefits emerging economies

This Dutch company makes environmentally-friendly paint

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

‘Fire-fighting approach’ to humanitarian aid ‘not sustainable’: Deputy UN chief

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

We’ll succeed together

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

DPRK reports ‘little progress’ since historic June 2018 summit with US

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s