Research Proposal now complete and looking for sponsors


Title: “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”

Executive Summary:

This study will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability.  It will focus on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of Gender Diversity Programs (GDPs) within organisations in an effort to explore their relationship with the recruitment and retention of women in senior leadership roles.  The aims and objectives of this research are;

  1. To establish a link between Gender Diversity Programs and profit;
  2. To develop a repeatable framework for the measurement of this effectiveness;
  3. To develop benchmarks that support the framework;
  4. To prove a link to organisational profitability as a starting point to further study into the impact of gender on economies, i.e.: Gender Economics[1].

This proposal is the first part of a wider study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics by first establishing a link between Gender Diversity programs and organisational profitability.  Gender Economics is an emerging field of study that builds on the theories of diversity and promotes the value of gender balance, particularly in the area of innovation and creativity.  It recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy and extends the theory that the discipline of economics ”could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases” (Ferber, Nelson 1993: 24).  Diversity Economics focuses on the organisational economics of diversity programs and follows the concepts of Economic Diversity,  ”as a way to achieve economic stability” (Wagner 1993) .

The second part of the study, will take the established link between Diversity Economics and profitability further to develop quantified economic models proving the case for Gender Economics using a cost benefit analysis.

Background to the Research:

Many forward thinking organisations are undertaking Diversity programs in a bid to attract and retain the right people and they must harvest a diverse talent pool to stay competitive.  This talent pool includes women, ethnic groups, Gen Y and Gen X and the instigation of programs to tap into talent in the aging population.  This study will focus directly on Gender Diversity Programs, which create an organisational culture where gender inequalities are minimized.

Value of the Research:

Apart from estimated gains in productivity and profitability linked to an increase in gender balance, few empirically tested metrics currently exist to prove the success of these programs on profitability.

The importance of the research means that;

1)      By quantifying the impact of these programs on organizational profit, it is felt that more woman will have access to decision making roles and the ability to actively forge company strategy [1];

2)      New ways of thinking can be harnessed in the areas of creativity and innovation, vital to the growth potential of many global economies [2];

3)      A greater pool of skilled resources is accessible as a direct result of proving the effectiveness of gender diversity programs [3].

4)      Organisations can measure the impact of program outcomes through understanding the business benefits of a diverse gender mix, as well as measuring the impact of the programs’ performance through earned value analysis.

Establishing metrics and financial models to monitor the progress of gender diversity programs will help substantiate their effectiveness (or otherwise) on company profit.  This study will build on current evidence to substantiate quantitative findings.  Studies by the European Commission (2005), “found that only 30% of companies have systematic measurement and evaluation processes in place for their diversity initiatives”.  These measure quotas, targets or program performance but do not provide a causal link to profit.

PLEASE CONTACT ME TO READ THE FULL PROPOSAL.


[1] Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, see www.gendereconomics.com with the first annual conference being held in Madrid Spain in 2008

[1] Gender Equality as Smart Economics: A World Bank Group Gender Action Plan (Fiscal years 2007–10), 2006

[2] U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton ”tapping into the innovation and creativity of women”, and cites Boston Consulting Group survey 1“Women are indeed the world’s third largest emerging market after China and India.”  [The survey] concludes “women will control $15 trillion in global spending by the year 2014 and by 2028 will be responsible for about two-thirds of all consumer spending worldwide.”

[3] http://www.bitcdiversity.org.uk/best_practice/diversity_in_the_downturn/index.html

“The prize for employers who are willing to tackle and challenge the current status quo could be huge.  The total benefits to the UK economy of reducing the gender segregation of jobs and increasing women’s employment has been estimated as anything up to a massive £23 billion. It could raise output in the UK by an equivalent 2% of Gross Domestic Product”


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My Research Proposal


Title: “The profit impact of organisational gender Diversity programs”

Executive Summary:

This study will compare Gender Diversity Program frameworks for effectiveness, and identify and evaluate linkages to organizational profitability.  It will focus on the effectiveness (or otherwise) of Gender Diversity Programs (GDPs) within organisations in an effort to explore their relationship with the recruitment and retention of women in senior leadership roles.  The aims and objectives of this research are;

  1. To establish a link between Gender Diversity Programs and profit;
  2. To develop a repeatable framework for the measurement of this effectiveness;
  3. To develop benchmarks that support the framework;
  4. To prove a link to organisational profitability as a starting point to further study into the impact of gender on economies, i.e.: Gender Economics[1].

This proposal is the first part of a wider study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics by first establishing a link between Gender Diversity programs and organisational profitability.  Gender Economics is an emerging field of study that builds on the theories of diversity and promotes the value of gender balance, particularly in the area of innovation and creativity.  It recognises the ‘direct input’ of women to the economy and extends the theory that the discipline of economics ”could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases” (Ferber, Nelson 1993: 24).  Diversity Economics focuses on the organisational economics of diversity programs and follows the concepts of Economic Diversity,  ”as a way to achieve economic stability” (Wagner 1993) .

The second part of the study, will take the established link between Diversity Economics and profitability further to develop quantified economic models proving the case for Gender Economics using a cost benefit analysis.

Background to the Research:

Many forward thinking organisations are undertaking Diversity programs in a bid to attract and retain the right people and they must harvest a diverse talent pool to stay competitive.  This talent pool includes women, ethnic groups, Gen Y and Gen X and the instigation of programs to tap into talent in the aging population.  This study will focus directly on Gender Diversity Programs, which create an organisational culture where gender inequalities are minimized.

Value of the Research:

Apart from estimated gains in productivity and profitability linked to an increase in gender balance, few empirically tested metrics currently exist to prove the success of these programs on profitability.

The importance of the research means that;

1)      By quantifying the impact of these programs on organizational profit, it is felt that more woman will have access to decision making roles and the ability to actively forge company strategy [1];

2)      New ways of thinking can be harnessed in the areas of creativity and innovation, vital to the growth potential of many global economies [2];

3)      A greater pool of skilled resources is accessible as a direct result of proving the effectiveness of gender diversity programs [3].

4)      Organisations can measure the impact of program outcomes through understanding the business benefits of a diverse gender mix, as well as measuring the impact of the programs’ performance through earned value analysis.

Establishing metrics and financial models to monitor the progress of gender diversity programs will help substantiate their effectiveness (or otherwise) on company profit.  This study will build on current evidence to substantiate quantitative findings.  Studies by the European Commission (2005), “found that only 30% of companies have systematic measurement and evaluation processes in place for their diversity initiatives”.  These measure quotas, targets or program performance but do not provide a causal link to profit.

PLEASE CONTACT ME TO READ THE FULL PROPOSAL.


[1] Gender Economics is an emerging field of study, see www.gendereconomics.com with the first annual conference being held in Madrid Spain in 2008

[1] Gender Equality as Smart Economics: A World Bank Group Gender Action Plan (Fiscal years 2007–10), 2006

[2] U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton ”tapping into the innovation and creativity of women”, and cites Boston Consulting Group survey 1“Women are indeed the world’s third largest emerging market after China and India.”  [The survey] concludes “women will control $15 trillion in global spending by the year 2014 and by 2028 will be responsible for about two-thirds of all consumer spending worldwide.”

[3] http://www.bitcdiversity.org.uk/best_practice/diversity_in_the_downturn/index.html

“The prize for employers who are willing to tackle and challenge the current status quo could be huge.  The total benefits to the UK economy of reducing the gender segregation of jobs and increasing women’s employment has been estimated as anything up to a massive £23 billion. It could raise output in the UK by an equivalent 2% of Gross Domestic Product”

Related articles

Gender Diversity Research – “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”


NEXT FOCUS GROUP SYDNEY MONDAY 20 AUGUST 6-8PM

As part of my Sociology degree I have commenced a year-long research project. The subject will be on “The effectiveness (or otherwise) of organisational gender diversity program’s on profit”  to see if we can come up with some metrics and measurements for quantifying the value of a gender diverse workforce on bottom line profitability.  Diversity programs are undertaken in many organizations in a bid to attract and keep senior women in leadership and although we know there are clear advantages, much of the information is empirical or intangible and difficult to measure under current business structures.

This is the first part of the study to test the theory and viability of further research into Gender Economics and Diversity Economics.

To book, please CONTACT ME

MORE INFORMATION ON MY RESEARCH
19 June 2012 UPDATE

Thanks so much to Tom Bright from Practicus who kindly responded to my earlier request for a room via LinkedIn to host my focus group in July for the first part of my research into Gender and Diversity Economics.

Gender-Specific Language, thanks Microsoft


 

The classic 'good guy, bad guy' image

Recently I was writing something for my study using the terms ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ whilst referring to the way the hero in movies, or ‘good guy’ is often portrayed wearing white and the nasty evil person, ‘the bad guy’, wears black. When I did the spell check, a wonderful message from Microsoft came up on my screen;

Gender-Specific Language

Although the marked word or phrase may be acceptable in some situations, consider the suggestion that includes both men and women.

  • Instead of: They designed the cooking class for housewives,
  • Consider: They designed the cooking class for homemakers.
  • Instead of: Have you seen the stewardess?
  • Consider: Have you seen the flight attendant?
  • Or consider: Have you seen the steward?”

I have been going on about using ‘non gender specific language’ for years and here it was – the same message coming back to me from my laptop courtesy of the Microsoft grammar and spell checker!  Fantastic, I am so happy to see this message – thank you Microsoft. As a female, I find reading ‘he this’ and ‘he that’ in documents really quite unsettling when the person is actually me – a ‘she’. For most people, including most women, these male references are not something that they even notice. As women we are so used to hearing the words ‘man’ to describe an individual or group of people of both sexes, and the masculine used in all types of contexts that we often ignore the use of ‘he’ to describe a ‘person’ or the role of a person in documents. Recently I had a contract sent to me for my signature. The entire document used the masculine person instead of using a non-gender specific term like “The Consultant”. I was surprised to see such language in a new document and at first; I tried to ignore the ‘he’ references thinking that I was just being over critical. After the first 15 pages, I was starting to feel a little annoyed so I went back and changed all the references so that the document would actually relate to me before I signed it.

In my business and in my professional life as a Program Manager, I always use non-gender specific terms when referring to people or roles in professional documents. I think that it is respectful and doesn’t assume that a role will be filled by a male or a female. It is more inclusive, so instead of saying something like;

“The Project Manager is responsible for the correct management of the budget, he will ensure that all relevant financial reports are completed and socialised with the project sponsor on a monthly basis”,

I would say;

“The Project Manager is responsible for the correct management of the budget, they will ensure that all relevant financial reports are completed and socialised with the project sponsor on a monthly basis”.

Or;

“The Project Manager is responsible for the correct management of the budget, the Project Manager will ensure that all relevant financial reports are completed and socialised with the project sponsor on a monthly basis”.

This is what I was writing when the Microsoft message came up and I changed my ‘good guy’, ‘bad guy’ references to read ‘bad person’, ‘good person’;

“DEFINING WOMEN

I found the Pattel, Gray reading ‘The Hard Truth’ articulating many of my own thoughts in a way that I have never been able to do.  The idea that most, if not all women (including indigenous women) in predominately-white societies are judged according to an ‘ideal white female model’ is something that I had not previously considered.  I knew that there was a strong image of the ‘Eve as sinner and Mary as virginal model’, but I had not considered how this related to indigenous women.  Further that “Whiteness represented goodness, purity, innocence and virginity, and more; this became the basis on which Euro-Australians identified themselves”. (Pattel-Gray, 1999, pp. 259-260).

I wonder if this can be related to the idea of the bad person in movies dressed in black and the good person dressed in white or something that is not black.  Certainly, the traditional white wedding dress must fall into this same model?

Pattel-Gray, A. (1999). The hard truth: white secrets, black realities. In A. Pattel-Gray, Australian Feminist Studies (Vol. 14, pp. 259-266). Australia: Taylor and Francis Ltd.”

Whilst most people readily accept my request for non-gender specific terminology in documents, I have had people tell me that this is silly and I should not be so pedantic. That is until I do a simple exercise of replacing all the people references in documents to read ‘she’ instead of the usual ‘he’. Alternatively, when speaking in a meeting or giving a talk, I change the language so it always refers to ‘she’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘they’. People both sexes start to feel unsettled. They are used to hearing the masculine and not the feminine, this change is strange for them to hear, but it does not immediately occur to them what has changed, they just know that something has changed.

Have you ever noticed the use of gender specific language and has it annoyed you too?


Susanne interviewed by international professional network “Globiles”


Globiles Spotlight: Susanne Moore talks gender economics

December 01 Madrid & Central Spain

Globiles Spotlight is the feature where we give our most interesting and vocal members a stage on which to shine.

This month’s member, Susanne Moore, is “ a global citizen, consultant and entrepreneur “ she also manages the blog- http://changingwomen.org.

Here, she talks to us about gender roles in today’s professional environment.

– Interview by Andrea Maltman

 G: You created the website “Changing Women” – can you summarize what exactly you feel needs changing regarding the image of modern women?

S: the questions around gender equality and gender change are big subjects and the approach for Changing Women is to keep it simple, focusing on “the changing woman”.

The aim is to promote positive images of real women whose bodies and minds change during the course of their life experiences.

G: Why do you feel you are the one to do this shifting?

S: Probably the best answer here would be because I can.  I am an observer and strategist, so I have observed a great many things over the years.

I have more tolerance for people and I think that will help me to be a change agent on a global scale.

I have seen and done what works and what doesn’t work and I have begun to understand why society is the way that it is.

G: Globiles is about professional life and social mobility on a global/international scale. Do you think men and women truly enjoy equal access to these two experiences?

S: I think the degree of equality here varies depending on a couple of factors:  First, what country or cultural restrictions are imposed on you, what restrictions you impose on yourself and finally, what restrictions are imposed on you by others.

In short, I don’t think that we can yet say that men and women enjoy equal access to professional achievement or social mobility.

 G: In your blog you discuss the term of gender economics, what role does this concept play in business and professional life?

S: Gender Economics is a term that I am using to describe economies built around gender consumption.

It is an important aspect of our social and business climate today and certainly very important as we move into the future.

In the gender economy, we have reduced portions of the population to passive consumers, making indirect economic input rather than direct input.  Stabilising the balance between indirect and direct impact has a role developing our economic future.

G: What advice would you give to women who want to scale the heights of their corporate or business environment?

S: Be true to yourself and try to do the work that you want to do.  Once you are in the corporate environment, learn how the game is played.  Understand the politics of climbing the ladder and be wary of people that want you to fail.

Above all, don’t apologise for being a female! But do try to harness some of the traits that assist men in business-promoting yourself, speaking in solutions not complaints and not taking business dealings personally.

G: Once there, do you believe there is camaraderie amongst the ‘sisterhood’, or a tendency to join the boys club, as it were.

S: Unfortunately I don’t think that this is the norm in the same way as it is for men.  Men build strong networks, and compete head to head for promotion using the traditional “old boys” network, whereas in my experience, women seem to spend time competing against each other instead of working together.

It is such a shame because if they used their “woman-ness” they would know that  the greatest assets that they have is compassion, intuition, the ability to work as a team and support each other.

The good news is that I think this trend is slowly changing, but it really needs to be addressed at school while girls are developing.  Teach them to be happy with the self instead of looking outside of themselves for validation, working on self esteem will help them later in the workplace.

G: In your experience, have you found professional dealings to be easier with women or men?

S: I have mostly worked in male environments, construction and then Information Technology so I am used to working with men and find them to be easier than women.

I think that men are less complicated in the workplace and, as I said in the previous question, once you understand the game you know how to deal with it.

The absolute worst scenario is when another female tries to manipulate the men around you.  Men are, in my experience, easily distracted by a beautiful woman, and often don’t pick up on the subtle manipulations and put downs of other women

I would say that every time I have seen this behaviour, the company, or the men in  question have come off second best because they have made decisions that are not based on sound judgement.

G: As well as your writing and commentary on your website and blog, you are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about you business ventures and projects.

S: Since closing my consulting company in 2010 I have been doing lots of different projects.  I helped my eldest daughter develop her range of beauty products, Alli’s Stuff, and sell these through my lifestyle portal http://inthebushatthebeach.com

I am also consolidating my Integrity Management Methodology which I wrote in 1997, http://integritymanagementmethodology.wordpress.com

I hope to work within a specific niche, which will look at imbedding integrity and improving business performance by linking environmental responsibility, cultural sensitivity, gender, and the development of new paradigms for business management.

 G: You are also an accomplished public speaker, which subjects are you most passionate about?

S: I love talking about equality and integrity in business.  I have also spoken on subjects like outsourcing, project management, leadership and managing diversity.

I have been well known as a International Leader in the field of project management and have spoken many times on that subject.

Lastly my most recent passion is about Changing Women and speaking about the ways that the Changing Woman can help to change the world by harnessing their own inner power and strength.  This is just so important and something that I am extremely passionate about.

If you’d like to know more about Susanne, contact her on Globiles or check out her websites:

http://changingwomen.org

https://susannemoore.wordpress.com

Globiles is “A community of the global and mobile, sharing insights and contacts online and offline”

Miss Representation – A Film you must see!


Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11

This is a really important film with some very important messages for all of us.  This is the link to the film’s trailer and it is worth a look, for the sake of yourself and your children – get familiar with what the media is doing to gender stereotypes and how powerful the message is already.  Don’t let it get any more powerful – educate yourself and your children and your work mates about the “gender economy”

Scary, women continue to be seen commodities and consumers to indirectly stimulate the economy and raise revenue instead of directly being able to input into the economy.  There is a huge resource out there now untapped and trapped by insecurities about self, sex appeal, look and what it is to be a women.  It has become my mission to try to discuss some of this through my www.changingwomen.org website but sadly, very few younger women think that there is even a problem with equality, thinking that they already have it!  Whereas the other women, like me still remember the struggle of even only 30 years ago not being able to get a car loan without your husband’s consent (even when working yourself and them not!) so it is like we are pushing “it” up hill and that is among our own gender!  I have found it difficult to get younger women to even recognise that they are being discriminated against, or put down in front of their work mates and friends by their  work males, their brothers and partners.  In many ways we have gone backwards and not forwards and the constant message of the media as in this video continually reinforces the messages of us needing to “be this or that”.  We must make a difference here!