The greatest change brought by the policy reframing is – an increase in the hiring target for women employees

Gender Diversity isn’t just about establishing an equitable ratio of Men and Women in an organization or creating the balance by focusing on a target number of hires. ‘Gender Diversity’ is larger than the cover created by the numbers it undertakes a systematic approach for all aspects of a professional’s journey from hiring to retention and promotion to succession.

A report by World Economic Forum stating the fact that – 29 percent of working women in Asia drop out of work between junior and mid-level positions – has created a worrisome situation for modern society. In a scenario, where the world is thriving to attain goals of ‘Agenda: 2030’ defined by the United Nations, economies and everyone in the ecosystem must revise their policies and frameworks to build a strong foundation of Diversity and Inclusion to achieve the SGDs in a real sense.

The misleading Picture in the Industry

Today, when ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ are progressing from being a buzz in the town to an essential component for building successful organizations, the business world is trying to drive equality and diversity metrics. The greatest change brought by the policy reframing is – an increase in the hiring target for women employees. Organizations are constantly involved in the process of hiring to fill the existing gender gaps. Although the efforts made by governments and organizations are positive yet they don’t address the elephant in the room.

The industry is somehow led in the direction where the focus in on ‘numbers’. The 2013 Companies Act (Section 149) and SEBI regulations also mandated companies to appoint at least one woman director. Half of the world’s population comprises of women who create a vast talent pool for organizational growth and sustenance. Despite having increased awareness of Diversity and Inclusion, why most of the industries exclude, underpay, overlook and under-utilize half of this available talent?

Even when most of the modern companies have started increasing the numbers of women employees to leverage the potential of a diversified workforce, the questions that strike is – Have we succeeded in achieving gender diversity? What are the real dynamics to achieve gender diversity, if the current approach isn’t working?

The Real Shift needed to Achieve true Gender Diversity

World Economic Forum highlighted that it will be 118 years before women have the same career prospects as men. This gives a clarion call to economies and organizations across the world to reframe their policies and recreate their frameworks for true driving gender diversity. Instead of struggling with numbers, they must introspect the reason why gender diversity isn’t happening. Nearly 24 percent of world women population enters the workforce but less than 5 percent reach senior leadership roles. The analysis of the complete system is necessary in order to realize diversity and inclusion. An organization should focus on retaining, promoting and mentoring women workforce correctly.

This is the need of the hour for policymakers to understand the social structure and bias before reframing the diversity-driven policies. With strong retention policies and the creation of an inclusive culture for working women at different life stages, for example, post maternity, organizations can pave their path to success by incorporating gender diversity efficiently and effectively.

Along with the organizational ecosystem, the existing imbalance should be treated by leadership through various DNI tools and supportive infrastructure. It needs to be done from the top. There must be equal mentoring, training and professional development opportunities of all employees to create a healthy and diverse talent pipeline for the future. The path to leadership needs to be made inclusive!

Gender Diversity isn’t just a tool to provide equal opportunity to everyone, instead, it is the foundation of our sustainable future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.