Gender diversity won’t be achieved when the framework itself is biased
To mark International Women’s Day 2019 we ask why there has been relatively little progress with regards to gender diversity in the workplace.
There’s legislation to protect women in the workplace and the EU Commission have pushed for a gender quota assuring 40% female representation on corporate boards. Yet still there is a huge misrepresentation of women on the board and we hear continuous reports/stories about men being selected for top jobs over women. So, where are we going wrong?
The reality is that the frameworks many organisations have in place just aren’t designed to tackle unconscious bias, according to Nathan Ott, Chief Polisher at The GC Index.
He says, “Employers have lots of fabulous initiatives at the top, where we are very passionate about new diversity initiatives, and at the bottom we are very vocal about these things. But things often get stuck in the middle. All too often organisations rely on their existing frameworks and these block change.”
Our research shows existing talent frameworks are very one dimensional
Nathan says, “Many organisations have a view of a perfect leader – you have to look and feel a certain way. The dominant metric for success in most organisations remains to be how far we climb the corporate ladder.”
At present women, when being taught how to succeed in their professional lives, are often told to, in essence, act and think like Leaders in organisations that have gone before them. Traditional diversity strategies tend to focus on trying to change women by ‘coaching’ them to be more confident or to express themselves differently, rather than exploring a different talent framework that objectively measures impact. Meanwhile their male colleagues and managers are taught to recognise their own unconscious biases. But this just isn’t working.
What is needed is a whole new framework, a new language organisations can use. The GC Index® is one such framework – it helps remove unconscious bias because it focuses on how people make an impact, regardless of who they are.
Real change will come from changing our mindsets so we value diversity of impact. This means we need to move away from teaching women to be more assertive or to express themselves in a more stereotypical male manner, instead we should measure their impact in a way that understands and values what they bring to the table.
This requires a big change. For decades all we have had to rely on is our existing framework. We have the tick boxes we have used for convenience. We don’t categorise people by their proclivities, thinking of somebody as a strategic thinker, someone who implements ideas, instead we make a judgement based on who we see in front of us and what we know about them.
The GC Index® framework is creating a level playing field that values everyone for their impact – not according to the box they have been forced into but according to their proclivities. Because of this organisations are really driving impactful change.