What do your employees think about gender diversity? The DOIT-smart Gender Gap Profile© 

As a management consultancy for gender diversity, we are primarily concerned with shaping the corporate culture, strategy, structures and processes of companies in such a way that diversity is lived and the company is attractive for current and future employees.

One of our analysis tools is the DOIT-smart Gender Gap Profile©.

The aim of the analysis is to feel the pulse of the organisation, to give room for subjective views and to discover new things in the process. During one-hour interviews, members of various segments of the workforce are asked to describe their subjective perception of the various dimensions of diversity (see chart below) in relation to around 25 theses with assessments and comments. This method makes it possible to present the different points of view of the different hierarchical levels concisely and it also makes it possible to capture anecdotes that are valuable in terms of understanding the corporate culture.

For example, it may become apparent that the topic of gender diversity is clearly anchored at management level, but is hardly perceived or interpreted differently by the organization. Another example would be that there are gaps in networking opportunities, although young women in particular are particularly dependent on them.

Blind spots can also appear, such as unconscious bias for certain role profiles. For example, one of the women interviewed experienced the embarrassing moment of a client being presented with a men’s wristwatch as a prize for the best sales result because the organizer was not prepared for a woman to be considered. Another top cadre woman complained that she herself was asked to go to the toilet at conferences where she acted as the main speaker.

Gender gap profile analysis also allows us to detect differences in perception within certain dimensions. For example, it may turn out that there is a clear glass ceiling in relation to flexible working or home office opportunities within an organization are inconsistent.

Together with the quantitative analysis, the DOIT-smart Gender Gap Profile© creates a solid factual basis for developing specific packages of measures adapted to the organization. By embedding the measures in a fact-based framework, their sustainability and impact are measured and improved.

Do you also want to know where your organization stands? DOIT-smart is offering the Quick Check Diversity module with a 25% discount until the end of the year. Please contact us for a non-binding consultation:

+41 44 500 27 70

Recently, the large chamber decided with a very small majority in favor of the women’s quota. With 95 to 94 votes, the members of the National Council voted in favor of the regulation on the advancement of women as a part of the revision of the company law. In the future, the female representation shall be 30% on boards of directors and 20% on management boards (see also: Is the quota for women up-coming?). By introducing this, a first hurdle has been cleared, but not all obstacles have been removed. The Upper Chamber still has to accept the women’s quota.

The quota works

This is impressively demonstrated by the example of Germany. In order to promote equality between men and women, a women’s quota of 30% has been applied to supervisory boards of 105 listed companies in January 2016. While only 27 women sat on the DAX supervisory boards before that, there are now 81 of a total of 256 supervisory positions that are occupied by women – within only 3 years (!) the quota was brought over the 30% mark. It is currently 32%.

However, Germany has stricter rules than the planned regulation in Switzerland. In Germany a company, which is linked to the quota and has less than 30% women in its control committee, must allocate vacant positions to women until the 30% mark is reached. Otherwise, the place would remain unoccupied („empty chair“).

In Switzerland, a soft quota, according to the principle „comply or explain“, is being discussed. Those companies, who do not achieve the target values, only have to explain the reasons, why they didn’t reach the goal, and seek for measures for improvement in a compensation report.

With the Equal Opportunities Act for Women and Men coming into force at the beginning of the year, Austria is also following the suit. For companies with 1’000 or more employees, 30% of the positions must be occupied by women.

These examples show that the female representation in companies is increasingly gaining in importance and visibility and is also clarifies that there are enough women available for the positions.

The recently published „Advance & HSG Gender Intelligence Report“ presents the latest fact and figures on gender distribution in Swiss companies. The results are based on raw data of 238’700 employees from over 50 companies.

According to the study, improvements in external recruitment were achieved with positive pipeline effects. Another pleasing highlight is the high return rate (87%) of women from maternity leave. This clearly shows that the efforts of companies are already bearing small fruits- the Swiss average was only 65%, according to the FSO.

The main challenge for companies is the internal promotion of women that have potential. The imbalance begins as early as the 1st management level, with a major impact on the overall career path. Although the gender ratio is almost 50:50 for employees without a management function, 58% men vs. 42% women are promoted to management. The main reasons cited for this explanation are unconscious distortions in promotion processes, as well as a disregard for part-time work in management positions (Further results of the study can be found here)

DOIT-smart deals with this topic in detail and has active consulting mandates (Female Leadership Pipeline) with industrial and service companies.

The starting point is an analysis of the figures of the company to make biases and characteristics visible. During implementation, more than 100 measures and products are available to choose from, depending on the company’s current state of development.

Especially companies that are between phase 3 and 4 of the DOIT-smart phase model often need a process redesign for the promotion process. A process, which can be improved through transparent criteria, the involvement of several decision-makers and active career support for women.

At 7-8 %, the female representation in management positions at Swiss companies is at a very low level (Source: Schilling Report). The development of the past years shows hardly any progress.

But why do many companies still underestimate the economic benefits of a more balanced gender distribution?

Usually, there is no direct intention of keeping the female representation in management so low.

However, many companies have little appetite for remedying this situation. Stereotypes and biases are often unconsciously very pronounced- these patterns can hardly be overcome with conventional methods.

In order to gain a more differentiated picture of the individual industries, DOIT-smart has examined the female representation on management boards and boards of directors  of the largest Swiss companies by industry. The analysis is based on publicly available data that has either been available on the company’s website or monetas.ch (from April to October 2018). An overview of the companies (incl ranking) is continuously published on the DOIT-smart homepage.

Aval Tech (Industry), Unilever Switzerland (Consumer Goods & Retail), Biogen Switzerland (Life Sciences), AXA Versicherungen (Insurance) and Switzerland Tourism (Federal Corporations) have currently the highest female representation in management positions in their industry. Unilever and Biogen short the top position in the industry with 50% women in the management (see Stars).

In around 55% of the surveyed companies, there is no woman at all to be found in the management. On the other hand, this looks better in the boards of directors, as around 73% of the surveyed companies have at least one women on the board. In around 20% of the 130 companies, gender parity does not seem to play a role at all – women are neither to be found in the management nor the board of directors.

DOIT-smart supports and advises companies in the implementation of a successful diversity strategy from a neutral perspective. The focus lays on a business-oriented gender diversity management. In addition, DOIT-smart analyses the current situation from 2 perspectives – from the perspective of the employees and from the perspective of the management – to determine the current situation. Existing strategies and processes are questioned and analyzed with the aim of creating a company- specific gender profile and identifying the need for action on the basis of the findings.

In a second phase, solutions are developed in cooperation with the company. DOIT-smart supports the company throughout the entire process. A Gender Diversity Dashboard (GDD©) based on performance Indicators continuously monitors the progress of the implementation.

Diversity management is increasingly perceived as a relevant and strategic topic.

DOIT-smart advises around a dozen customers from the industrial, service and retail sectors on the implementation of their diversity strategies.

In this newsletter we would like to give you some insights into our work with our customers. Workshops have proven to be a good tool for new and exciting solutions, in addition to traditional methods, like a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

See also: Report Unconscious Bias Workshop at the  Bühler Group

In order for diversity to be successfully implemented in a company, it is necessary to implement the measures in various areas.

We at DOIT-smart distinguish between 8 dimensions and draw on a pool of over 100 documented measures and products, which we assign to the respective stage of development of the company.

The Federal Statistics Office has recently published the latest figures on part-time employment (see the current 10vor10 article with our DOIT-smart CEO Andy Keel).

59% women vs. 18% men

Overall, almost 60% women work part-time, while the amount of men (18%) is much smaller, even though part-time work has also become more important among men.

The study also states that the family situation has a strong influence on the level of employment among women: 80% of all women with small children work part-time.

Bringing women into leading positions requires that leadership experience can be acquired as early as possible in a career. If young women work part-time because of their parenthood, part-time leadership must become possible. Too often it is still expected that leaders are fully present- an attitude that seems antiquated. The role of superiors is changing and so is the requirement for attendance time.

Flexible working hours and part-time working models in management level belong to the corporate culture of a modern company and make the company more attractive for everyone (not only women).

Gender-specific prejudices, stereotyping and a lack of role models are further obstacles in a woman’s career. For this to change, men also need to contribute their power. As superiors they decide on the promotion and therefore on the career of their employees. As colleagues they can shape the tone of their dealings.

From years of experience with the „TEILZEITMANN“, we know how you can address this topic to men and turn them into supporters.

More about our „Engaging Men“ module can be found here.