The Power of 3: The Whispered Truth about the Power of a Gender Balanced Workforce
January 25, 2018 by Matthew Richards, Director, Executive Recruiting & Talent Acquisition, Cognizant Technology Solutions
Many CEOs say that their company’s greatest asset is their people, but you must look deep inside a company’s talent acquisition tactics and strategy to know if this is true. Of course, attracting top talent is just the beginning; once the new hire is onboard the best leaders seek ways to keep them engaged and to hit new goals. This excellence should translate directly to revenues, and company growth, and overall success…and so it goes.
But people cannot be their best when they work in an unsafe, disrespectful, and even dangerous environment. Women in corporate America have endured institutionalized persecution, bad behavior, and double standards, all with a lower wage than their male counterparts. We must be better than this. Time’s Up for this outdated system, for people who abuse their power, and for the gender-based wage gap. Courageous women broke the silence and now we must all lend our voice. No more! Time’s Up!
I wrote several blogs this past year on various gender issues, am proud to be speaking at the upcoming SRSC conference in San Francisco, and will be dressed in black to show my solidarity with this essential movement. Join me, and weave this new movement into your everyday work of building companies one new hire at a time. Together we can show our commitment to a safe, secure, respect-based workplace, and let everyone know, “Time’s Up!”
This is the second in a series of posts about “the Power of 3” in Recruiting and Talent Acquisition. There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding “the Google memo” and references to prevalent yet subtle discriminatory hiring practices. To balance the coverage about the engineer’s manifesto, I thought I’d lay out the Power of 3 benefits of a gender balanced workforce. Rather than speak from Stephen Colbert’s hilarious “truthiness” concept I prefer science. Research can yield facts that challenge our views, which can be inconvenient when we’re trying to win an argument based on what we wish were true. That said, research has the inherent benefit of providing metrics that support and refute viewpoints; if you go with science you are more likely to be right.
But first, a triumphant note on new legislation eradicating a significant obstacle to women in the workforce. In the past, many companies gathered a candidate’s salary history to help determine an appealing compensation offer. Salary history was not the only factor, but it was key information for the recruiter or manager who hired you.
Even after the adoption of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the whispered truth is that this practice has perpetuated a gender-based wage gap. Women are paid an average 79 percent as much as their male counterparts. The wage gap exists not only for women, but also for other marginalized groups. I am proud to say that my employer, Cognizant, has abolished this compensation practice. We support progressive federal and state legislation and stand strong with the “Fearless Girl” pictured above, and with all who advocate for “equal pay for equal work.”
The second whispered truth is that companies that quickly comply with this overdue change will benefit greatly from a more diverse workforce. Many, including Forbes, McKinsey and Harvard Business School, have long touted the inherent benefits of gender diversity. This change will impact many elements of a company including these three powerful factors: company culture, the ability to attract and retain female professionals, and profitability. Follow the hyperlinks and you’ll find it all there, backed by credible science.
Oftentimes, increased profits lead to larger bonuses, so here’s your chance to leverage the double bottom line, to “do well while doing good.” Get onboard with diversity recruiting strategies that will lead to a more balanced workforce, and give your company the most powerful edge in the most critical area: the people.
Follow me on LinkedIn and on Twitter @MRichards84 to learn more about the Power of 3 applied to Recruiting and Talent Acquisition. The next article will challenge the notion that there is a gender-based difference in strength. We will define different types of strength, and we’ll use science to back it up. That will close out Diversity as a two-part topic here and we’ll move on through other aspects of Recruiting and Talent Acquisition, seen through the lens of the Power of 3. #PowerofR3cruiting