The Business Case for Gender Diversity in the Workplace


With the International Women’s Day approaching, companies and individuals worldwide will be reviewing gender parity, progress, and future projections for women in the workplace. The positive benefits of a gender diverse workforce have created a solid foundation for these discussions and path forward.  Everyone – HR and Operations – has a responsibility to ensure the understanding of the competitive advantages diversity will generate for organizations.  In this blog, we will discuss the business case for implementing programs to promote gender diversity.

Direct Impact to Organizations’ Bottom line

It is no secret that there is a correlation between a diverse workforce and profitability of an organization.  According to McKinsey’s report “Delivering Through Diversity”, gender diversity in management positions improves profitability by 21%.  Furthermore, if we were to achieve gender parity in the US, it would result in $2.1 trillion to $4.3 trillion increase in GDP by 2025 – just by bridging the gender gap.  That is a significant impact on the US economy.

Drives Innovation

One of the contributing factors for the gender-based increase in profitability is greater creative thinking and innovation.   Each employee comes with their own unique perspectives and competencies therefore reducing the occurrence of group-think. By creating a gender diverse workplace, a company’s  ability to understand a large potential customer base will increase as much as 158%, allowing  them to better serve and advise their  clientele. This diversity of thought, or cognitive diversity, and skill set will allow teams to develop better solutions for customers and the organization as a whole.


Improvement of Attraction and Retention Efforts

Having a gender diverse workplace creates a positive impact on your employer brand – providing a greater attraction of talent. Talented women look forward to working in organizations where people are not judged based on their skin color, race, background or gender.  In fact, according to Catalyst, “Organizations ranked highly on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list have twice as many women in senior management than do companies with lower rankings”.  This attraction of talent is true for a variety of generations, but more so for Millennials as they are drawn towards businesses that promote gender equality.

In addition to talent attraction, research supports that creating a gender diverse environment leads to decreased rates of turnover.  The key to diverse talent retention is not talent attraction alone, but rather ensuring an inclusive workplace.  When an organizations’ policies, procedures, and culture supports inclusion, companies will be able to recognize a reduction in attrition of up to 22% according to Gallup. The attraction and retention of talent goes hand in hand.  You cannot expect a recruiting organization to bring top diverse talent to an organization, yet not implement policies and procedures to ensure employees remain post hire.

Understanding the importance of gender diversity will create a positive impact to businesses on a variety of levels.  International Search Consultants offers diversity recruitment services that help organizations hire some of the best talent in the country. Contact us today for more information.

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants and can be reached via e-mail at or via direct dial at 888-866-7276

Lisa Finch is a Senior Executive Recruiter with ISC, focusing on Financial Services as well as the Energy industry. Lisa can be reached via e-mail at or via direct dial at 888-771-1488.