Take Action Now To Stop Women In The Workplace Regression
The Forbes article, "Take Action Now To Stop Women In The Workplace Regression," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday on the DE&I precedent California regulation has set for women on boards. The article is excerpted below.
According to the National Women's Law Center, since February 2020, women have lost over 5.3 million jobs and account for 53.8% of overall pandemic-related job losses. Women have suffered the majority of pandemic-related job losses and are leaving the workforce at unprecedented rates. The U.S. labor force participation rate for women hit a 33-year-low in January. Today, only 23% of executive roles are held by women, according to Chief (www.Chief.com), a private network focused on connecting and supporting women leaders from VP levels through C-Suites executives.
In Sept 2020, California passed AB979, which requires public companies to have a minimum of one director from the BIPOC or LBGTQ+ representation. Tina Shah Paikeday, Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Services at Russell Reynolds Associates, said, "California SB826 has definitely moved the needle on boards. For example, before California passed SB826, nearly one-third of 600 major public California corporates had no women on the board. That number quickly declined to a few dozen companies. We at Russell Reynolds are receiving many inquiries to assist with the female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ representation on boards as a result of AB979. We are fortunate that we invested in relationships with minority talent before this regulated need appeared. Networks such as Chief, Ascend Pinnacle, Latino Corporate Directors Association, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and our very own Black Directors conference are critical social networks that help to identify talent with whom we want to continue to build relationships."
International Women's Day celebrates how much women have achieved in the workplace, but we have years more to reach parity. We will need intervention and commitment from companies and networking groups to support and protect the women workforce and embrace diversity. Bold changes, processes, and obligations must be in place, or what we have achieved so far with gender diversity will regress for years to come.
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