Diversity and inclusion have evolved from buzzwords to imperatives in today’s corporate landscape….

What a cliche starting to every article that talks about women’s inclusiveness and gender diversity in the corporate world. A lot of work has been done to create an environment of opportunities for women to get their place in the corporate realm, not to mention progress has been made slowly but steadily, for example, HR profession.

HR has been a female-dominant profession for a long time. Reportedl, around 70% of HR managers are women. Originally, female workers were tasked with caring for their colleagues during the formation of the Welfare Workers Association (WWA). Over time, their roles expanded to include recruiting and other HR functions. Even today, HR remains a female-dominated profession, with 60% of HR roles filled by women.

But with all the work that has been done, it all comes down to one thing, what about women in other business functions?

However, despite the significant presence of women in HR, it’s not uncommon to find them underrepresented in board positions within many organizations. For instance, in 2021, MERIT500 published a report on HR competence, revealing that only 4% of HR leaders among Sweden’s 533 large companies had or have had board assignments. This statistic is particularly significant given HR’s responsibility for cultural strategy and its position within top management teams. It’s clear that HR professionals are as capable as any other C-suite member when it comes to contributing to boardroom discussions.

BoardEx, a global data company, shows that a far more common route to the top job is through finance and operational roles — and these are still overwhelmingly held by men.

In this article, we’ll explore strategies for organizations to empower women by expanding their exposure across business functions, and we’ll shed light on how MERIT500 contributes to this important endeavor.

Cross-Functional Training and Rotations

Encourage women to participate in cross-functional training and rotations. In this way, they gain exposure to different departments and roles within the company. Cross-training not only broadens their skill set but also exposes them to various aspects of the business.

Companies can measure the effectiveness of cross-functional programs by tracking women’s representation in different business functions through the MERIT500 Gender Index.

Three distinct categories are taken into account when calculating gender equality at a company level: Board, Operational Management Team, and Total Management Team.

Leadership Development Initiatives

Invest in leadership development programs specifically designed for women. Provide training, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

To track the representation of women in leadership positions and adjust their programs accordingly, our gender equality data and statistics can be used as a benchmark.

Inclusive Recruitment and Promotion Practices

Implement policies that encourage diverse candidate slates and consider potential rather than just experience when making promotion decisions.

Companies can compare their data to industry benchmarks to identify areas for improvement using our exclusive web service that provides data company on an individual level.

The goal isn’t just to provide opportunities for women; it’s to recognize that diversity is a strength and an essential component of success.

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