The top 3 factors that boost gender equality in the workplace

In companies where these factors are present, women are more likely to advance to leadership positions and increase their pay, according to Accenture.

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  • Bold leadership, comprehensive action, and an empowering environment are three categories of factors that can help close gender gaps in the enterprise. — Accenture, 2018
  • If workplaces in which these factors are most common were available to all working people, women could earn $94 for every $100 a man earns, heping to close the pay gap and lifting women's total earnings by $202 billion. — Accenture, 2018

Companies that publicly commit to close their gender gap often mean well, but the fact remains that women still earn less and are less likely to get promoted—especially in the tech industry.

To help companies close the gender gap, a Tuesday Accenture report identifies the top factors that are statistically proven to influence advancement and pay for women.

Accenture surveyed more than 22,000 working men and women in 34 countries to measure their perception of factors that contribute to gender equality in the workplace. They found that 40 different factors influence advancement for both men and women, and these factors fall into three categories:

    • Bold leadership: A diverse leadership team that sets, shares, and measures equality
    • targets openly.
    • Comprehensive action: Policies and practices that are family-friendly, support both
    • genders, and are bias-free in attracting and retaining people.
    • Empowering environment: One that trusts employees, respects individuals, and offers
    • freedom to be creative and to train and work flexibly.

        SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)

        In organizations where more of these factors are present, 98% of employees said they are satisfied with their career progression, and 95% said they love their job at least most of the time. Employees are also more likely to report leadership aspirations in companies where these factors are present, the report found.

        "It's critical that companies create a truly human environment where people can be successful both professionally and personally—where they can be who they are and feel they belong, every day," Ellyn Shook, Accenture's chief leadership and human resources officer, said in the report.

        If all of these factors were prevalent across every workplace, women would be five times as likely to reach senior manager and director level in the US, and four times as likely globally, Accenture found. We would see up to 87 female managers for every 100 male managers, compared to the current ratio of 65 to 100. And as a result, women's pay could increase by 52%, or an additional $20,000 per woman each year.

        If workplaces in which these factors are most common were available to all working people, women could earn $94 for every $100 a man earns, heping to close the pay gap and lifting women's total earnings by $202 billion, according to the report.

        Men are also 20% more likely to advance to manager or above in organizations where these factors for equality are most common, and women's odds of progress are higher.

        "Our research shows that in companies with cultures that include the workplace factors that help women advance, men thrive too, and we all rise together," Julie Sweet, Accenture's North America CEO, said in the report.

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        Image: iStockphoto/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

        By Alison DeNisco Rayome

        Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.