Recent research shows that even though women make up about 40% of the total supply chain workforce, only about 15% of organizations have women representing them at executive levels. The numbers clearly don’t add up. There is a distinct lack of gender-based parity in the industry workforce makeup and the associated reasons for such are often varied, disparate, and complex.
A diverse workforce is both more productive and substantially more adept at embracing innovation. Other benefits of workplace diversity include the availability of multiple perspectives, greater degree of talent retention, improvement of brand reputation, and enhanced company culture.
A McKinsey study shows that if women could fully participate in paid work instead of handling traditional unpaid roles, it would add a staggering US$28 trillion to the global gross domestic product (GDP); a 26% forecasted increase that is achievable by 2025. Additionally, studies show that since women are responsible for driving almost 70 to 80% of all consumer purchases, they can help an organization make better marketing decisions and adopt more streamlined product launch strategies.
Overall, the case for gender diversity in the workforce can be cemented with a 2019 McKinsey analysis which found that organizations within the topmost quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were significantly more likely (25% more- up from 21 percent in 2017 and 15 percent in 2014 ) to have higher than average profitability than the companies appearing in the bottom quartile.
Companies that attract and retain a gender-diverse workforce are indicative of a more stable ecosystem that promotes inclusion and growth. Even within the supply chain industry, studies indicate that more gender inclusive organizations are seen as better and are considered twice as likely to meet or even overhaul their financial targets. The same study also reveals that the organizations promoting greater gender diversity have a 35% more chance to outperform their industry competitors, are eight times more likely to improve overall business outcomes, and have a six-fold chance to innovate better than the peers.