There is significant fiscal prudence in building diverse and inclusive workplaces. According to research, hiring women can add substantially to the economic growth of the country. This economic impact, according to the study, could translate into incremental GDP growth of 1.4 per cent per year by 2025. It’s about time we take their perspectives at the workplace more seriously.
What have women in India being saying to their employers for the last 7 years?
A comparison of our studies for the past 7 years on what women consider the most important job attributes at the workplace reveal some interesting insights.
Salary is important to us: The gap between men and women regarding the importance of salary has closed over the last five years. Our research reveals that salary is more important to women than to men! The gap stood at 3% in 2012 - meaning relative importance to the parameter given by women was 3% more than that given by men. This came down to 1% in 2014 and was exactly the same according to our latest research.
The question that employers should ask themselves is that are they selectively ignoring the demands or fulfilling them in some other form.
Work environment matters: There are attributes that rank both less and more in importance for women than for men. For example, the need a strong management and the use of latest technologies are not as important to them as they are for men. However, a pleasant work atmosphere and flexible work arrangements – have consistently featured as aspects of their work-life that they value more than men.
Location location location: Women have been saying that they would prefer an employer with premises located conveniently over an employer who does not. Women rated flexible work environment 31% more than men and this factor has remained a significant differentiator to attract women over the past 7 years. This could, perhaps, be also be a point that the HR can raise with other stakeholders at the time of geographical expansion.
A positive gendered view
When women place less emphasis than men on strong management or use of latest technologies, it does not mean they understand business less. To the contrary, it signifies their confidence, based on the three most important strengths they bring to the workplace - leadership style, work ethic and professional commitment. They simply do not need the ‘anytime, anywhere’ work model to prove their mettle.
Studies consistently show that gender diverse groups have higher collective intelligence and drive greater innovation. When diversity is embraced as a culture and not as a gender tokenism, organisations will well find that a gender-diversity friendly ecosystem actually impacts business objectives positively.