Women And Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Gender, equality is not just the right thing to do. But it is the smart thing to do for the health and success of our organizations be they for-profit, not-for-profit. And it is the smart and right thing to do not just for our organizations, but for our nation's. And indeed, for the seeing is believing we need to see the change not to believe in the change to have women at the top of the management of the country organization is absolutely critical to ensure effectiveness at success. We have now data. That shows that companies that are inclusive are actually more profitable. This is the beginning of a research agenda, which is very deep and very rich and will help support the cause of closing the gender gap, because it provides such a powerful evidence for the value of doing.

So I think people be tremendously surprised to understand what the gender gap is. In fact, a group of MBA students were asked just the other day. How many women do they think are in the fortune, 500 CEO level positions, and it's.3 percent is the answer, and they said, 20 to 25 percent. Women are almost as healthy and almost as educated as men if not more in some countries and yet you're, not seeing that same participation in to in terms of the economy. You know, crisis is a terrible thing to waste some ID to care more about these issues, there's, never a better time than now we've come through horrendous global recession. The world is recovering at different rates, but wherever you exist in the world you need, and you know that. This world has to operate differently going forward.

So we have now the very paradoxical and inefficient situation condition that we have a car of young women who are very well-educated, you know, but then are not using that education in the workforce. What we do here at the women in public policy program is we focus on closing gaps, we identify and teach and train on what are the key interventions that work whether it's in business, whether it's in law, whether it's in politics, or whether it's in. Civil society it's, not that people don't want to close gaps it's that people don't always know how to close the gaps and think that it's a problem too big to solve probably 80% of the organizations that we work with. And we study there are more women entering the workforce than men. But when you look at the different levels of Management, it gets slimmer and slimmer. It is imperative that we have a full slate of individuals, regardless of nationality, gender, various characteristics to pull from in. Order to address the challenges that face our business and organizations as a whole its diversity of human experience and competency that will cause a team to outperform a homogeneous team.

Every time let's suppose, the business is forecasting the business, trying to predict what's going to happen in this market or what product should we introduce, or how are people going to respond to this new product in those situations? What you can show in a very formal way is that if people from different. Backgrounds are people different life experiences frame, the world differently. If they have different categories, they have different causal models in their head.

Then they're going to make different predictions. And where you can show is those different predictions are going to combine in such a way that they're sort of that they're better than the individual predictions. You can sort of formally lay this out. So this isn't some sort of feel-good mantra, you know, it's, literally, just a mathematical fact, the. Evidence shows that empowered women in poor families have healthier children that's. The only way that you can break this link in the intergenerational transmission of poverty, the workplace will have to change. And you know, a lot of the systems and processes that were built in.

And that we all live with today were built for a largely male worker in the Industrial Age. So it's, not just that the talent today is changing and women are an increasing part of the talent pool, but it's also that the work. Itself has changed, so companies need to sort of figure out how those two things, which are sort of converging, how they're going to respond to those trends. We often have people thinking well, I'm in the government sector, or I'm in the private sector, the corporate sector arrived in the civil society sector, all of these sectors turn out. They have to have similar dynamics.

You know, and that we could actually number one learn from each of the sectors and number two, they all have to be working on this. Problem at the same time, when I talk to people parents in rural India, one of the things that shows up in as an aspiration for their daughter's job is they're going to be in politics. That's, an answer I would not have expected or didn't hear ten years ago. Now you hear it quite typically I know, it can happen in my own company, I've created an ecosystem that has actually now resulted in 49 percent of our executive leadership is women. It is also the only way for our society to make progress to evolve. To innovate and probably to exist. So I was recently in Dubai speaking to a large conference of 600 men, the release our shift in the audience and really wanting to understand what this gender intelligence that we talked about really meant.

So we need more men to put that out there and really make those declarations. So we can shift the thinking in the world I feel like we have a good knowledge base understanding what's going on and a good knowledge base of how to change. And that coupled with the. Media's increased attention. And the stories out there on successful women and successful men who care about gender, equality makes me optimistic. We will have reached our goal when life isn't like a lottery that some people get the winning ticket and some people don't, but everybody gets the wedding too. You.

Dated : 15-Mar-2022

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