7th March 2018

Management teams with good gender-balance are more successful

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Firms managed by a gender-balance of men and women are more successful across a range of measurements than those with a gender imbalance, according to a study by Sodexo, the international food services and facilities management company.

The five-year study of 70 organisations across different functions represented 50,000 managers worldwide.

Operating margins, client satisfaction and employee retention, among other key performance indicators, were all higher among gender-balanced teams, meaning a ratio between 40 per cent and 60 per cent women to men, Sodexo said.

“These results add a new, compelling dimension to a growing body of research that demonstrates the business benefits of gender equity,” added Rohini Anand, the corporate responsibility and global chief diversity officer at Sodexo.

“The distinctive nature of the study, with its examination of both financial and non-financial performance indicators across so many levels of management and the pipeline to leadership, is a significant piece of the overall picture on importance of gender in the workforce for enhanced outcomes.”

The key findings of the study were:

  • Operating margins significantly increased among more gender-balanced teams than other teams.
  • Gender-balanced entities had an average employee retention rate that was 8 percentage points higher than other entities.
  • Gender-balanced entities had an average client retention rate that was 9 percentage points higher than other entities.
  • Gender-balanced management reported an employee engagement rate that was 14 percentage points higher than other entities.
  • Gender-balanced entities saw the number of accidents decrease by 12 percentage points more than other entities.

Sodexo said that it was committed to gender parity, with women representing 50 per cent of its board and 32 per cent of senior leadership positions – a 6 per cent increase since 2013. It added that middle management and site management positions were balanced at 46 per cent and that 59 per cent of the total workforce was under within gender-balance management.

The company has committed to having women make up 40 per cent of senior leadership positions by 2025 and has linked 10 per cent of bonuses to this metric.

Further reading: Acre Bench: Diversity & Inclusion – The Gender Pay Gap Infographic