Is your company committed to advancing women? When it comes to advancing women, many companies track promotions and regrettable losses, conduct conferences and support Business Resource Groups. But if your company treated advancing women as a strategic imperative, it would be funded like any other major initiative. Think about it. In business, we don't think twice about spending $2 or $3 million on a TV ad or social media campaign, yet I guarantee the majority of the Fortune 500 doesn't come close to spending even $1 million on their women's initiatives.
No one likes to talk about money, but if we aren't willing to invest in our women's programming, pay equity and other key programmatic elements, we are losing the battle!
Real commitment equals a real investment.
As we approach 2019, many companies are setting goals around gender diversity. For instance, Citigroup aims to lift its share of women in mid- and senior-level executive positions to 40 percent by 2021 from the current 37 percent, and Goldman Sachs Group said it wants women to account for 50 percent of employees globally. We know that Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are a fantastic tool for directly impacting the profitability of companies by promoting diversity in thought, leadership, talent acquisition and innovation, and they can play a vital role in accomplishing gender-diversity objectives.
Kudos to these companies for their visual and vocal advocacy. What is your company doing? Why are so many ERGs run by an all-volunteer team and given meager budgets to accomplish the important tasks they are given?
Companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co. have recognized the importance of promoting gender diversity by backing their ERG, Women on the Move, with a full-time director and resources to promote savings by women and $10 billion of loans to women-owned businesses.
So, what's it worth?
For a 10,000-employee company, an expenditure of just $50 per employee would mean an annual budget of $500,000 for an impactful, bottom-line focused ERG to make a big difference in the profitability of its company. What's your budget? Do the math and see what it looks like.
It's time to engage in a conversation now as budgets are being set for next year. Ask the below questions of your team, and let's talk about it!
How has your ERG made a bottom-line contribution to your company?
What else is your company doing to focus time, money and resources on advancing women?
If you were to fund your ERG at $50 per person, how much money is that and how can you tie it to the company's commitment to advancing women?
The talk was fantastic! It was very informative, and Jeffery was very knowledgeable. He presented the information flawlessly. It was hands-down the best talk I have seen in my 20+ year professional career.