New data shows that companies with adaptive cultures and gender diversity outperform their more homogenous counterparts.
According to a recent study, diverse companies gain broader perspectives and can more effectively predict future challenges; and they are better equipped to devise proactive, cutting-edge solutions and innovations.
However, the research data also showed that men and women aren’t exposed to workplace learning and development opportunities in the same way. The study, which surveyed 1,000 workers, showed that women were less aware of training opportunities across categories. About 40% of women, compared to over 50% of men, said their company offers skills training. Additionally, fewer women (55%) than men (73%) said they think that their company shares subject matter expertise across teams efficiently.
Women also lag behind when it comes to technical skills and access to technology. Only half of women, compared to about two-thirds of men, said they have access to online learning platforms. Elsewhere:
· 68% of men versus 47% of women said they have access to tech-related skills training.
· 23% of men versus 37% of women said they don’t have this access but wish they did.
Women also said they have less access to training related to analysis, judgment, and decision-making; resource management; and written and oral communication.
Companies that are serious about diversity need to make sure that men and women have equal opportunities for skills training. HR plays a key role in helping to bridge the training gender gap. One step might be to find out if employees face any barriers to training opportunities. Do they have access to computers and the Internet at work and/or at home? Are training programs offered at convenient times? How do family responsibilities interfere with training access?
It also is important to identify both male and female workers who show promise for leadership or management roles. What skills and training do they need to pursue these opportunities, and how can you help?
To bridge the training gap and increase women’s access to learning and development opportunities, look to implement digitally-enabled training that help workers hone leadership and other skills on the go (i.e., during breaks, at home, on weekends, etc.). At the same time, consider offering these employees mentors, coaches, and advocates within the organization who can help them on their journey.