Five Ways Men Can Improve Gender Diversity at Work

Jason Cheng

Women are underrepresented in many global companies, particularly among senior leadership teams—and companies are missing out on opportunities as a result. A large and growing body of research shows that organizations with greater numbers of women, especially in leadership roles, perform better. For example, a 2016 Peterson Institute for International Economics study of some 22,000 global companies found that as companies increased the number of women among board members and senior leaders, their profit margins increased as well. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives to a company, improving both problem solving and resiliency and making the organization more innovative and adapt- able to change.
Yet when companies try to fix this problem, they often center their efforts solely on women. Experience shows, however, that this is not enough to bring about material change. Such a narrow focus essentially walls off gender diversity as a women-only
issue instead of positioning it as a broader topic that has a significant effect on overall company performance. What’s more, at most companies, women who try to generate meaningful change on their own find that they are too few in number to produce the necessary impact. Men need to join their efforts in order to succeed.

What Works: Gender Equality by Design

Jason Cheng

What Works is built on new insights into the human mind. It draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments in Australia, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and other countries, often in randomized controlled trials. It points out dozens of evidence-based interventions that could be adopted right now and demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance. What Works shows what more can be done—often at shockingly low cost and surprisingly high speed.

COVID-19: How Business Can Support Women in Times of Crisis

Jason Cheng

Many of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting women disproportionately hard. Women are more likely than men to work in low-paying, insecure and informal jobs. Women also make up the majority of health professionals and essential workers at the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, risking their health and safety, as well as those of their families.

Our Labor History Timeline

Jason Cheng

Throughout our history, the labor movement has accomplished a lot. If you get weekends off or overtime pay, thank the union members who fought for those rights. None of our movement’s achievements would have happened without the effort, organization and advocacy of our brothers and sisters. But injustice still runs amok. We must look to the past not only for inspiration, but for the tools we need to continue the fight. The roots of the problems we face today can be found in our past. So can the beginnings of the solutions we need for our future.

Women in the Workplace 2019

Jason Cheng

This year, 329 companies employing more than 13 million people shared their pipeline data or completed a survey of their HR practices. In addition, more than 68,500 employees were surveyed on their workplace experiences, and we interviewed women and men of different races and ethnicities, LGBTQ women and men, and women with disabilities at all levels in their organizations
for additional insights.

Our 2019 findings build on our data from the last four years, as well as similar research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2012.

Women in the Workplace 2018

Jason Cheng

For the last four years, companies have reported that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress.

Women continue to be vastly underrepresented at every level. For women of color, it’s even worse. Only about one in five senior leaders is a woman, and one in twenty-five is a woman of color.

Progress isn’t just slow—it’s stalled. And we know why.

Women in the Workplace 2016

Jason Cheng

In corporate America, women fall behind early and continue to lose ground with every step

7 Leadership Lessons Men Can Learn from Women

Jason Cheng

Research shows that the prevalence of male senior leaders is not a product of superior leadership talent in men. Rather, large quantitative studies, including meta-analyses, indicate that gender differences in leadership talent are either nonexistent, or they actually favor women.

With this in mind, it would be more logical to flip the suggested remedy: instead of encouraging women to act like male leaders (many of whom are incompetent), we should be asking men in power to adopt some of the more effective leadership behaviors more commonly found in women. This would create a pool of better role models who could pave the way for both competent men and women to advance.

The impact of Covid-19 on gender equality

Jason Cheng

The economic downturn caused by the current Covid-19 outbreak has substantial implications for gender equality, both during the downturn and the subsequent recovery. Compared to ‘regular’ recessions, which affect men’s employment more severely than women’s employment, the employment drop related to social distancing measures has a large impact on sectors with high
female employment shares. In addition, closures of schools and daycare centers have massively increased child care needs, which has a particularly large impact on working mothers. The effects of the crisis on working mothers are likely to be persistent, due to high returns to experience in the labour market. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are opposing forces which may ultimately promote gender equality in the labour market.

Ninety percent of Iceland’s women walked off the job in 1975, and the country came to a halt

Jason Cheng

When 90 percent of Icelandic women refused to work, and the country fell into chaos, they had succeeded.
On Friday, October 24, 1975, telephone lines went down; families scrounged for food; theaters cancelled performances; even the following day’s newspaper was half its average length. On an island with just 220,000 inhabitants, the country simply could not go on without the help of women.

One year after the strike, Iceland formed the Gender Equality Council and passed the Gender Equality Act against discrimination in the workplace. Four years after that, Finnbogadottir was elected president. She called Women’s Day Off a watershed moment for women’s emancipation, and she stood as one of its major symbols of progress. “The finger was pointed at me and I accepted the challenge,” she recalled.