Frau und Mann in Businesskleidung

Show commitment Top Management Priority

For any initiative seeking to enhance gender balance, unconditional top management engagement is essential. This sends a clear message to employees: Well-balanced leadership teams have strategic relevance and are awarded high priority.

Top engagement sends a clear message

Ideally, top management commits to specific targets regarding the share of women in top management levels and assesses progress at least twice a year. The data can be broken down according to key regions, business units and functions. Such a fact-based approach not only triggers questions where the share of women lags behind but also supports the extension of measures that have proven successful.

How do you convince executives?

The relevance and urgency of gender balance is supported by many studies analyzing the business case: Results show that mixed leadership teams contribute to the economic success of the company. This fact carries great weight in discussions with top level management. Furthermore, gender balance should be established as a fixed agenda item at executive board meetings. The relevant data is condensed into clearly defined KPIs in order to enable a fact-based progress review.

What are key success factors?

  • Top management allocates time to the subject on a regular basis.
  • Executives hold themselves accountable for improving the gender balance in their areas of responsibility.
  • The organization conducts or makes available different quantitative studies demonstrating the positive correlation between diversity and performance.
  • Male managers act as role models and opinion leaders.

Tips for smaller organizations

  • The smaller the organization, the higher top management’s visibility to employees. It is therefore imperative in smaller organizations that executives act as role models and lead by example.