Closing The Gap

Study: 80% of women would leave a company for one that offered better gender equality

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Executives everywhere may want to take note of a new survey released by the human resource consulting firm Randstad U.S., in which 80 percent of women surveyed said they would leave a company if they felt another firm offered greater gender equality.

Of those surveyed, 58 percent of women also said the lack of a clear path to leadership roles was one of the key factors that contributes to gender inequality in the workplace. And while mentorship and leadership programs are known to be crucial to one's career success, just 23 percent of women said they are offered these resources by their current employer.

"Change doesn't happen overnight," said Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Randstad North America. "In order to move the needle in a meaningful way, it is the utmost responsibility of corporate leaders to invest in programs that will help retool and empower women for future success."

Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg
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Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg

Some leaders, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, are taking their own measures to ensure gender equality is reached in the workplace. Earlier this year, Sandberg launched the #MentorHer campaign with LeanIn.org to help fill the mentorship void that many women experience. Through this campaign, men will be provided with tips on how to be an effective mentor to a female colleague, as well as insights on why mentoring is important.

"People with mentors are more likely to get promotions – yet women are less likely than men to be mentored, and women of color get the least support of all," Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post.

In addition to implementing the proper resources for women to succeed, employers must also make sure that female employees are being paid equally.

Of the more than 780 professionals surveyed by Randstad U.S., 40 percent said they have discussed salary with a co-worker. Nearly half of all female respondents said they would leave a company if they found out a male colleague earned 25 percent more than they did.

Reports project that pay equity won't be reached in the U.S. until 2059. However, some CEOs want to shorten that timeline.

Last year, Salesforce CEO Marc Beinoff revealed that his company spent $3 million to fix its pay gap after examining salaries of people with similar roles. He tells CNN that his company looked at bonuses and checked for pay differences based on gender and race.

More recently, Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme announced that his company was aiming to achieve a gender balanced global workforce by 2025. To do this, he's agreed to not only hire more women, but also promote them, and has set the goal of having women account for 25 percent of its managing director positions. So far, the company says women make up 41 percent of its global workforce, and 32 percent of its newly-promoted managing directors.

"Men and women are equal. End of story," Nanterme says in a video on the company's site. "That means companies should have an equal number of men and women, and it means pay an access to leadership opportunities should be equal."

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