There are many nuances in diversity. None has terminated over the past half-century than that which exists between men and women. In the future, diversity should no longer be a problem. On the contrary, it must provide added value to companies.
However, the situation now has hardly changed since the 90s. This is what Marianne Bertrand, a Belgian economist who currently is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, notes. She explains this phenomenon by the fact that it falls more and more on women to care for children. But it may also be up to women to take matters into their own hands to bring about change so that the last bits of gender disparity can finally be eliminated.
On the contrary, diversity must provide added value to companies and societies. While we are certainly far from having crossed the finish line, yet many efforts are in any case made so that women have the opportunity to flourish. Recently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, female leaders, from all sectors, engaged in the discussion on how women experience the changes brought about by the new COVID-19 reality.
This kind of network is an important tool for women, allowing them to position themselves and find inspiration from strong models. The point is that women have a hallmark of their own in approaching times of crisis, such as fairness, transparency, vulnerability, trust-building, open communication, empathy and recognition. For instance, many women see a period of crisis as an opportunity for companies and businesses to bring out their most human side by integrating support for customers and employees into their culture.
According to the majority of women, the companies that do this are the ones that will come out of the crisis the best. Also, many women leaders, just like their male counterparts, have had to stay the course of their business in these turbulent waters. Beyond financial pressures, challenges have primarily been about individuals. First of all, it was necessary to provide the necessary equipment so that everyone could switch to work from home mode. Women know this very well when it comes to working from home, as it can be a real challenge when children are around. Fortunately, men, too, are now spending more time with their families, but motherhood is a pressure that has proven to be a big factor anyway.
Female role models readily share in virtual meetings some personal tips for coping, such as taking enough time for yourself and easing the pressure of family life - for instance, allowing time to other children to indulge in video games a little more than usual.
A network is a fundamental basis for making a difference, but it does not stop there. Women, for example, must dare to speak out. Salesforce made it possible. During a time of crisis such as amid the current coronavirus pandemic, women working in society, regularly organise chat sessions during which personal experiences and stories and other challenges faced in terms of diversity and inclusion could be shared. In a crisis like the one we are going through, it is necessary to plan for times when we can listen to each other and share personal views and perspectives.
Diversity is a goal that we not only seek internally but also actively try to inspire in others. Meetings in which sharing and contributing to personal growth are a dream opportunity for women to convince managers of today and tomorrow to make diversity one of the major pillars of their human resources’ policy within companies. Of course, the students, through their training, are already prepared for it but being able to discover, through concrete feedback, what companies are already doing today to stimulate diversity is a useful supplement to the training.
Conclusion? Diversity is a long-term project to which we all must contribute our little stone. Many of today’s women are looking for a lever to better combine family life, but if we want to succeed, we will have to work for a better future. Diversity must become an important value within every business and women themselves must play an active role in making this possible.