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    The Missing Link

Most ASX listed companies are investing significantly in gender diversity related programs but two key issues have been identified in our research.

Firstly, decision makers are often not able to identify accurately the needs of particular women or groups and they are not sure what effects the gender diversity programs will have. Our clients say they want to have a way of matching needs to programs that is robust and reliable.

Secondly, it is only possible to measure the effectiveness and outcomes of gender diversity programs once considerable time has passed. After a number of years, decision makers use trailing indicators such as retention rates and percentages of women in senior roles to evaluate results but they do not know if they could have achieved these goals sooner or more cost effectively.

These issues arise because there is seldom in place an objective, scientific framework for understanding individual or group characteristics and how those might be affected by gender diversity programs. So, while a particular program may be useful for some participants, our research has shown that considerable time and resources can be expended with only minimal results for many other participants.

The diagram opposite provides an example of the time taken for different cohorts of women to progress through an organisation. In our discussions with Diversity & HR Managers we consistently hear how useful it would be to be able to:

  • reliably predict which programs would be most effective for a particular group of people
    or needs
  • scientifically measure the impact and return on investment that programs have within months rather than years.