September 13 is Positive Thinking Day, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by applauding the recent advances in workplace diversity.
While there is still a significant gender gap in STEM fields, especially at the upper management levels, there is now overwhelming evidence that diverse workplaces, c-suites and boards are good for business. Study after study confirms that having more women in these positions correlates positively with better financial performance.
Companies are also more likely than ever to have established diversity programs in place. More than 60% of companies surveyed by HR.com this year said they consistently communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization, and 53% reported having a more diverse workforce now than they did two years ago. While there is still a long way to go in this area, it’s clear that a majority of companies recognize the importance of diversity and are doing something proactive about it.
The media is also paying a lot of attention to diversity, which has succeeded in raising awareness about the issue among company leadership. A recent study conducted by BCG revealed that men at all levels of the organizations surveyed recognize the obstacles to workplace diversity about as much as women do. Since we can’t solve problems we are not aware of, the importance of raising consciousness about the issue cannot be overstated.
All of this has led to a greater accountability and transparency in hiring practices. Leading tech companies are setting examples for the rest of the economy by making their diversity and inclusion reports available to the public.
We’ve also seen a rise in organizations devoted specifically to supporting diversity in STEM fields and beyond, focusing on everything from promoting female role models and helping women get on boards to teaching girls about science and computer coding, and everything in between. This holistic approach to closing the gender gap is not only welcome, but necessary when you consider that this complex issue has a multitude of drivers and needs to be addressed on as many fronts.
The commitment to proactively contributing to workplace diversity and inclusion doesn’t stop with the organizations devoted to the cause – many companies now have special departments and budgets for promoting diversity not only in the workplace but also in their communities. GLAM is honored to partner with many such companies and organizations who generously donate their time and resources to making our life-changing program available to girls for free.
Admittedly, we still have a way to go towards bridging the gender gap in STEM. But the good news is, the industry has a vision and is taking action. In the words of Futurist Joel A. Barker, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”