For senior executives, the main question about gender diversity is not whether but how. How can the company identify specific initiatives that offer the greatest payoff? How should the company allocate its resources—in time, managerial focus, and capital—to generate the biggest diversity gains? Unfortunately, many companies simply don’t know the answers to these questions, so they use a trial-and-error approach, trying a lot of things and hoping to see good results.
That approach leads to wasted resources, and it may even be counterproductive. Although more than 90% of companies have some sort of gender-diversity program in place, our research findings indicate that only one in four women feel that they have personally benefited from such programs. When companies generate a lot of activity but little progress toward gender diversity, leaders begin to feel that interventions don’t work. Meanwhile, women grow frustrated, morale sinks, and company performance suffers.
Listen to Senior Partner and Managing Director Matt Krentz and Women@BCG Fellow Katie Abouzahr as they discuss how companies can get a better return on their diversity dollars: by advancing proven measures and looking out for hidden gems and by avoiding overrated initiatives that drain the budget and don’t move the needle.
Originally published by Boston Consulting Group