More gender balance in six simple steps

Gender imbalance at the higher levels of organizations is a well-documented phenomenon. However, the majority of organizations are not ready to meet the challenge of increasing gender balance yet, either because they do not understand the benefits it could bring, or simply because they do not know how to effectively do it. If the latter is your organization’s problem, then six simple steps developed by Curt Rice, Vice President for Research & Development at the University of Tromsø, Norway, can help. Firstly, know the facts: collect the numbers and take a picture of the overall gender balance situation in your organization. Secondly, recognize that gender balance is not exclusively a women’s issue, the whole organization can benefit from a gender balanced workforce. Thirdly, get the leadership of your organization on board, which is crucial to develop policies to increase gender balance more quickly and effectively. Fourthly, set specific and concrete goals, which is necessary to make the entire organization understand that action must be taken to meet them and progress must be measured. Fifthly, identify individuals who are motivated to advance and invest in them: they are at the basis of this structure for progress and should be supported to ensure that the promotion of gender balance in the organization becomes realistic. Sixthly, create context for accountability, or, in other words, create systems in which the achievement of goals, or not, has consequences for organizations, so as to increase focus on achieving gender balance. Ready to start?

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