- Workplaces that support gender diversity earn higher ratings on issues affecting employee experience, analysis from Willis Towers Watson (WTW) found. For the analysis, WTW polled 1.7 million employees at 32 organizations included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, WTW said in a media statement emailed to HR Dive.
- The analysis showed that in companies where more women are among the highly paid staff, employees had more positive attitudes — and a more positive outlook on career development, in particular. In addition, at organizations where one-third of promotions go to women, workers had more favorable opinions of senior leaders, WTW said.
- Employees were better able to manage workloads and had more favorable attitudes about work-life balance when employers offered family and health-enhancing benefits, such as health education for women and adoption assistance, the analysis showed.
One benefit of gender diversity recent studies have confirmed is the positive impact female team leaders can have on team members. In a 2019 study from Peakon, a platform for measuring and improving employee engagement, employees felt more invested in their companies when they were on female-led teams. In that study, women-led teams were more inspired by their organizations and felt their organizations did a good job of communicating senior management's goals and strategies. Although Peakon said the diversity study's results weren't conclusive, they point out the ability of women to engage employees effectively.
Hiring more women, especially in leadership roles, could help raise employee engagement rates, which some studies have concluded are dismal. The ADP Research Institute found that 84% of workers aren't fully engaged at work. The institute also found that workers were 2.3 times more likely to be engaged if they were on a team and 12 times more likely to be engaged when they trusted their leaders.
Creating a positive employee experience — even at the candidate stage — can result in better engaged workers, but some experts have said that a positive experience goes beyond engagement. Speaking at Paycor's 2019 Rise Web Summit in February, Katy Bunn, Paycor's senior director of marketing communications, told participants that engagement starts on employees' first day on the job and that HR can build a culture that continuously supports them by conducting frequent check-ins and goal setting. She also recommended creating a referral program that serves as a source for talent and that enables workers to be "social media ambassadors" who can promote their organization's culture.