On International Women's Day, I celebrate the exceptional women in both my professional and personal life. They have played such an important role in making me who I am today. This year, as Russell Reynolds Associates celebrates its 50th anniversary, we reflect on how far we have come—and how far still remains to go—in the pursuit of gender equity and opportunity. We wholeheartedly support IWD's #BalanceforBetter initiative, both on this international day of recognition and on all other days.
How can we continue to drive this momentum? What can we concretely do to create
Russell Reynolds Associates' second annual Diversity & Inclusion Pulse survey, in which we heard from over 1850 executives, provided some surprising insights. While both men and women agree that D&I is critical to organizational success, less than half of our respondents believe that these initiatives are top priorities in their organizations. Interestingly, both men and women agree that their organizations are effective at attracting diverse talent—but women find their organizations to be less effective at developing and retaining diverse talent. While both men and women agreed that fair and unbiased talent management processes drive D&I strategy, they disagree about how it plays out in practice. Women are more likely than men to think that there are fewer developmental mechanisms for diverse talent (like mentorship) and that there is
This needs to change, and we all have a role to play in advancing our own gender balanced workplaces. I challenge all leaders to think about three recommendations to help in their D&I efforts:
Set and communicate D&I goals, then hold leadership accountable for their success or failure. Less than 40% of women think their leaders set and communicate D&I goals, and
an evenfewer feel leaders hold themselves or others accountable to meet established goals.
Communicate the importance of D&I and make visible commitments. Only 55% of women think their leaders communicate the importance of D&I, and only 52% think their leaders make a visible commitment to addressing the mandate.
Emphasize D&I as a part of business strategy and make it an enterprise-wide priority. Only 45% of women think their leaders emphasize D&I as part of their business strategy, and only 46% think their leaders make D&I an organization-wide priority.
What has worked in your organization?