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Navigating Disruption Without Gender Diversity? Think Again

What is the link between disruption and gender diversity? Innovation, and in our experience, the way to spark innovation is to harness the power of different ideas from diverse groups of people who are supported by an inclusive culture, part of this equation is gender diversity. By EY

July 10, 2017

How five disconnects are holding back gender diversity and stifling innovation.

Think that disruption and gender diversity are two separate, distinct business issues? Think again.

Disruption and gender diversity are two of the biggest topics facing business leaders around the world.

Both issues are critical to the future of every industry. And they are closely connected.

To navigate the current era of disruption successfully, businesses will need to draw from a diverse range of opinions, ideas and experiences.

Disruption demands innovation. But history is littered with examples where a lack of diversity of thought and experience has constrained decision-making and curbed innovation.

Businesses need diversity to survive and thrive. EY interviewed 350 C-suite leaders from 51 countries and across seven industries about how businesses are addressing gender diversity and disruption.

Our research revealed that leaders overwhelmingly recognize the challenges ahead of them and acknowledge that diversity in senior leadership is important for navigating change.

But despite valuing diversity, many businesses are not addressing the gender gap in a way that will deliver the change that is needed.

We identified five disconnects that are holding businesses back from achieving gender diversity on their boards.

  1. The reality disconnect: Business leaders assume the issue is nearly solved despite little progress within their own companies.
  2. The data disconnect: Companies don’t effectively measure how well women are progressing through the workforce and into senior leadership.
  3. The pipeline disconnect: Organizations aren’t creating pipelines for future female leaders.
  4. The perception and perspective disconnect: Men and women don’t see the issue the same way.
  5. The progress disconnect: Different sectors agree on the value of diversity but are making uneven progress toward gender parity.

In this report, we address each of these disconnects and outline why it is important to think again about current approaches to gender diversity in senior leadership.


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