I recently listened to the Sincerely, X podcast series co-presented by TED and Audible. The series shares true stories that the tellers feel are “too sensitive, painful or potentially damaging to share publicly” and so they share them anonymously. To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the anonymous aspect of the series. But my focus today is the content of Episode 5: Equality Executive. In it, a corporate leadership consultant gives advice on how to create gender parity in the senior ranks of an organization. Her main thesis is that companies should treat achieving gender parity in their senior ranks the same way they would treat any good business decision, because that’s what gender parity in the C-suite is — a good business decision. For example, does a law firm just talk about getting more A-level clients, or does it put time, money, and human resources towards achieving that result because it wants to be more profitable? Usually the latter. And so, since gender parity is a good business decision, organizations need to treat it like one, giving it the mental, human, and financial attention it deserves.
Here are some excerpts from the talk:
- “Thousands of leaders… realize that creating gender equality at every level within the organization isn’t just a nice thing to do, but an absolute business imperative.”
- “Study after study shows that no matter how you torture the data, having women in the C-suite creates higher profitability, period.”
- “A recent study revealed that there are more CEOs in the S&P 1500 named John than there are women CEOs.” (Ok, I just had to include this one. Apparently, if you want your child to be the CEO of a company, you should name him or her John.)