Earlier this year, Weber Shandwich released its first Gender Forward Pioneer (GFP) 2016 Index, reporting on senior management gender distribution in Fortune 500 companies. And unfortunately, women only make up 10.9 percent of senior management teams.
But they also found that companies with higher social regard have twice as many women in senior management roles than companies with weak reputations.
It's encouraging to see that embracing gender inclusion can result in greater social influence for companies, but there's much more to be done. However, gender equality doesn't have to mean grand gestures. Sometimes, it can be as simple as integrating your phone systems.
It's not what we're doing, but how we do it
What's important to take home about workplace equality is not just the proportion of women and men in the workforce, but how they are distributed. According to the US Department of Labor, about a quarter of all working women are doing so part time (versus just 12.4 percent of men), and make up 64.2 percent of all part-time employees in the United States.
This begs the questions: how can companies leverage this distribution to the mutual benefit for all parties involved?
Today, with unified communications (UC), part time or remote workers can be just as connected as everyone else - and when you're connected, you're working together. By hosting your communication channels on a single platform, through a cloud system for example, suddenly everyone's working in the same space, regardless of time of day or location.
Unified communication drives business growth
Adopting unified communications doesn't just promote workplace equality, it drives business growth. A 2015 PwC report on UC found that it's rapid growth is attributed not just to increased productivity, but also improved workplace collaboration and employee well being.
Part of this can be attributed to the flexibility UC gives employees, handing them a degree of control over where and when they work to fit with their lifestyle, with the added bonus that happy employees are more productive employees.
Still work to be done
UC has some real benefits for improving not just gender equality, but overall equality. Yet, despite many companies making progress towards an equal workplace, WGEA Director Libby Lyons says there's still work to be done:
"It is only through more employers taking the initiative to promote gender equality in the workplace that we will see the pace of change pick up", she said in the release.
Every step counts. To learn how you can make a difference in the workplace through the implementation of UC, download our FREE eBook: Unified Communications for a Mobile Workforce.