Executive Discussion: Google & ANZ

We recently surveyed +2,000 white-collar Australians to uncover which organisations were better positioned to adapt well in a rapidly changing environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The results were conclusive.

The companies best able to adapt, innovate & have a more engaged workforce were those with gender-balanced leadership teams.

We know that one of the biggest barriers executives face is whether 50/50 is only possible at the expense of men, so we hosted an Executive Discussion to unpack this, among others issues, and also share key report findings and their impact on post-COVID recovery.

The session was packed with fantastic insights, with some of the highlights shared below.

How can the effectiveness of D&I initiatives be enhanced?

  • Make D&I a top priority: create an ongoing narrative of achieving goals such as gender equality and include them on the agenda all the time, not a once a year as a token effort. The behaviours need to be institutionalised into the organisation and embedded in the company culture in order for efforts to succeed.
  • Have advocates driving initiatives from the top: someone or members of the senior leadership team need to be ambassadors for driving change and carry this responsibility, bringing the D&I lens to all conversations.
  • Cultivate a shared passion amongst teams and individuals: bring individuals along on the journey and ensure they have a shared sense of what the business is trying to achieve, the challenges and opportunities, so that they are more receptive to D&I initiatives and take individual responsibility for driving change.

53% of attendees said the greatest barrier to achieving 50/50 was female leadership pipeline, how can we address this?

  • Build the pipeline all the time, not just when the role becomes available: focus on filling the pipeline year-round with high-calibre female talent, including communicating this externally and showing that it’s a priority, to make it easier when it comes to hiring.
  • Emphasise potential over experience: consider hiring someone who doesn’t tick all the boxes, but displays the potential and attributes to succeed in the role to help overcome the barrier of reduced experience that women face due to taking time off for caring responsibilities.
  • Investing in people transformation should be a top priority: once women have been brought into the pipeline, businesses need to provide meaningful development and advancement opportunities. This provides women with the opportunity to progress to senior leadership and contributes to achieving 50/50 at the top.

How can men be effective allies to women in the workplace?

  • Be a good role model: lead by example both in your personal and professional life. Begin at home by committing to a fair share of the domestic responsibilities.
  • Generate awareness of the unique challenges women are facing: women have become effective at masking how much they have to deal with. Male leaders have a responsibility to make this more transparent and help women with this systemic problem.
  • Show that you care: positive sentiment and support of female advancement from male leaders at the top will flow on throughout the organisation.

Download key insights

Download full research findings


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