*Written for MyOps, a consulting company for mortgage brokers aiming to launch soon. The tone had to be light and entertaining.*
Why you need to invest in gender equality
We believe that a smart company is one that knows how to ride the waves of its time. In an age where public figure on both side of the gender spectrum readily self-identify as feminist, having a company where the old boy’s club is well and alive almost feels like an embarrassing breach of etiquette. For companies, not only is thriving for gender equality morally commendable, it is also financially savvy. By investing in gender equality, you have the opportunity to do some good in the world while performing a savant branding manoeuvre.
That is not to say that supporting diversity is only worthwhile for the positive publicity it can bring you or to meet quotas. The pitfall of having people that look the same, have identical backgrounds and similar interests is that your workplace can easily morph into an echo chamber where navel-gazing is customary. This disconnect from the outside world means that trends will easily be missed and your company is likely to have a hard time recognizing when the tides are changing. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that glass houses are no good for business! So, include women in your staff meeting if you want to avoid uninspired brainstorming and tone-deaf decisions.
Additionally, chances are, sooner or later those employees that don’t fit the mould will take off for greener and more tolerant pastures. You might end up losing talented individuals and coming up with a suitable replacement for the job could be a challenge. Therefore, being committed to supporting the inclusion of women in your company is as much a sound business decision as it is a means for survival.
After all, having a gender-balanced workplace can bring additional knowledge to your company, resulting in improved services. Also, it will help you expand your customer base. There’s an additional advantage to cultivating a flair for justice: it will attract young, bright minds who will trust that your company would be the perfect place to nurture their potential. Hence, your recruitment pool will become wider and more rewarding.
It should be pointed out that championing the career of the ladies working for you and ensuring that the environment in which they work is free from abuse also signal to other employees (read men) that you’re a trustworthy employer. Workers tend to judge their company by how well they take care of their staff rather than by how their financial statement look by the end the year. Consequently, companies in which there is a greater sense of inclusion and community tend to have higher staff satisfaction. And as they say, a happy employee is an employee that performs well.
Long-lasting companies are those that have a strong identity underpinned by a powerful message. If you want an enduring place under the sun, you need to define what does your company stand for, why, and how to convey your values. Fighting for equality can be a way to consolidate your reputation and your legacy. Thirty years from now you could be known as that company which throve for what was best for women and for all.