Diane Brady: And we have been making progress in that area, right, Lareina?
Lareina Yee: We had. Over the last couple of years, we’d seen some real payoff of the efforts that companies were making. We were seeing an increase from, say, 16 or 17 percent to 20 or 22 percent of those senior women, the people who report straight up to the CEO and are the SVPs and EVPs of organizations, for various industries.
Even though that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, it is. When you have two, three, four members of your top team that are women, it signals something completely different. For the women who are working their way up through the ranks, “if she can see it, she can be it” is the motto that I’ve heard so many people say. What that is saying is, “I’m looking for a role model.” But it also changes the quality of business management. Diversity actually improves business performance.
So, even though we think of this as individual stories of women and the type of opportunities we want to create, it shouldn’t be lost on companies that this is actually good business as well. We saw globally, across companies, a 34 percent higher return on equity from management teams that had diverse members on that team. Gender diversity, racial diversity, and underrepresented voices are a part of the team making decisions. read more