“Shifts in societal discourse on gender and work would be accompanied by the company noting discrepancies between its own expectations and outcomes, sparking an analysis phase and subsequent actions.”
The article A Company’s Evolving View of Gender Equity by Martha Lagace offers a thorough synopsis of a recent Harvard-based study that reveals the benefits of tracking public discourse and implementing organizational practices that correspond to shifting societal views of diversity.
The study, authored by Harvard professors Lakshmi Ramarajan, Kathleen L. McGinn, and Deborah Kolb, examines one professional services firm over almost 20 years, comparing its internal documents to gender-related pieces published in the popular press, and scrutinizing the firm’s developing focus on gender. The authors found that organizations are not immune to shifts in the public discourse on gender equity; in fact, as the organization in question internalized the public discussion of gender bias, underrepresentation, and work-family balance, the number of women in top positions increased, and the company’s reputation among professional women improved.
The authors of the study also emphasize the importance of outside experts for the identification, validation, and implementation of organizational change, as the outside experts lend credibility and accountability to the organization while it responds to shifting societal principles.
Meritas understands that assessments and directives for organizational change are useless without thoughtful and attentive strategy implementation. Let Meritas help your organization navigate shifting societal beliefs about diversity in the workplace.