The Business Case for Improving Employee Diversity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Female employees in entry-level positions are nearly 20% less likely to be promoted into management positions than their male counterparts, according to LeanIn.org and McKinsey’s study Women in the Workplace 2017.
The study, which involved more than 200 American companies collectively employing more than 12 million professionals, also determined that just one in ten senior leaders—and one in five C-suite executives—is female… and no more than one in 30 C-suite leaders is a woman of color. Yet, nearly half of all male professionals surveyed claimed that women are well represented in their companies.
These statistics can be even more pronounced in the IT, telecommunications, and engineering industries. In an analysis of 50 large global technology companies conducted by Cascade Insights, the company determined that no organization surveyed featured a workforce consisting of more than 50% women. In fact, most of the technology companies featured employee pools that were just 20-30% female.
All of this data points to significant gender and racial inequality in IT, telecommunications, and engineering workforces—most likely not a great surprise to most. What might come as a surprise to many is that progress toward greater diversity in technology workplaces may be stalling; data suggests that many technology sectors continue to experience severe recruiting and pre-pipeline problems, such as low graduation rates of women with engineering-related degrees.
Diversify or Die During The Fourth Industrial Revolution
These issues are coming to a head during a transitional point within the technology industry. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly changing the IT, engineering, and telecommunications industries—from the advent of 5G to the proliferation of the Internet of Things—and enabling new horizontals and verticals faster than other time in history.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution gains steam, technology companies must be increasingly innovative and efficient in order to bring their cutting-edge products and services to market before the competition. 21% of CIOs around the world claimed that innovative new technologies were a top priority compared to 2016, according to Harvey Nash and KPMG’s CIO Survey 2017… and fulfilling this strategy means having diverse teams in place that can brainstorm more varied, revolutionary ideas.
In fact, IT, telecommunications, and engineering teams and companies with ethnically and racially diverse management teams (in the top quartile within the industry) are 35% more likely to experience financial returns above their industry mean, while those highly ranked for gender equality are 15% more likely to see financial returns above their industry mean. The path toward financial success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is clear: not only welcoming highly specialized employees of all ethnicities and genders, but actively recruiting these talented professionals who can help to accomplish your challenging technology objectives.
Overall, the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents an ideal opportunity to fix the gender and racial inequalities that have plagued many companies for years—while experiencing greater innovation, growth, and financial success.
Is your organization positioned for success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Download Link Consulting Services’ complimentary white paper, “Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” This extensive guide covers:
• 7 trends and emerging technologies that will affect your business
• The impact of international politics upon the IT, telecommunications, and engineering industries
• The severity of the tech talent shortage and how IT, telecommunications, and engineering companies are responding