Using Metrics to Reap the Gender Dividend: A Business Solution to a Business Problem
By: Beverly Willis and Lecia Corbisiero
In today’s knowledge-driven economy, women are both a vastly under-tapped talent resource and an extremely powerful and ever-growing client base. As such, their complete integration into all aspects of business, both internally as workers and externally as clients, is crucial to any modern company’s success, both in the AEC industry and beyond.
In their report, The Gender Dividend: Making the Business Case for Investing in Women, Greg Pellegrino, Sally D’Amato and Anne Weisberg of Deloitte and Touche define the Gender Dividend as ‘the significant return realized by fully integrating women into […] the workforce.’ Further, they contend that if implemented effectively, that return will be realized in the form of increased sales, improved recruitment and retention of a key talent segment. But, while admirable, simply adopting policies geared toward this goal is not enough. In order to effectively reap the Gender Dividend, companies must set benchmarks by which to measure their progress. Only by identifying and tracking certain indicators – or Metrics – can organizations gain a sense of how programs and policies, such as those promoting gender equality, are actually working , or not working. Metrics enable these groups to develop focused, effective ways of achieving the desired change by providing hard data on the practices implemented and feedback on areas of need. Whenever an organization is considering an investment in a new product or technology, the impact on the bottom line is always analyzed and weighed – investing in women should be no different. Metrics ensure that investment is focused in the right places for the maximum return.
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