Most people don’t change, or willingly go along with change, because the change is “the right thing to do.” They do it if there is an important reason to change. Businesses don’t change their corporate cultures so that they retain women because doing so is nice for women. They do it if there is a compelling business reason to do so. The bottom line reasons to achieve gender diversity in leadership are exactly that—compelling.
Women leave their jobs at a higher rate than men. This is confirmed by data from the Bureau of Labor and by private research. There are three reasons business leaders need to understand why women leave. All are reasons to engage women so they’ll stay:
1. Turnover has a significant cost—estimates range between 50 and 200% of annual salary (plus negative impact on morale and performance).
2. Fully half of the total workforce and of the hiring pool (more than half of the educated hiring pool) is female—so the group at greatest risk of leaving is large.
3. Gender diversity in leadership has been correlated with higher returns (see studies by Catalyst and McKinsey); if you are losing women, you are probably losing the upside of gender diversity.
The globalization of organizations is an undeniably reality. Businesses and governments are working together to solve problems too big and too complex for any one country. Unfortunately, a quick glance through the recent news headlines points to a critical roadblock in the path to successful international collaboration: a severe lack of trust across organizational and national borders. Trust is one of the basic building blocks of successful collaboration.
The night outside has only just begun. It is youthful, jaunty with the stars perked up for an eve of dance and delight; much like the twelve princesses from childhood stories. The stars row down the alabaster stretch to a clandestine ball held at some obscured corner of the sky, conspicuous to only lovers – or believers.
time is not the deepest of times;
it is an unslept hour of breaking light
stirring lazily after a spent night
of copulation with its denseness
gloom, in visitation of hope
for the crescent moon to have tilted
sideways up into a smile, half
concealed by the veils of frothing
clouds speculating its revelation.
Drape me in the purdahs of your being
as I cave into hundred thousand deaths
per night; relentlessly I lodge my spirit
in the empty taverns of your existence
wishing to grow a flower, not very red
like shimmering rubies found in Mahals
of kings richly adorned of any despair,
but a plant common that you colour,
I hope, with the red of your blood warm.
Like a nomad groping towards an oasis,
I had disciplined myself to survive you
through these very nights, manifesting
sanity to stubborn senility; from lover
to patient, to broken as is what became
of a once curated heart.
Antonio Velásquez, my immigrant father, who came to this country (legally , you have to say that these days) with nothing, not knowing the language, serving this great country in the military and then eventually, with the GI bill, graduating from college (at age 32) recently passed away. My father lived to see me go to college and graduate, earning a BA and MBA from two great schools, and watched me marry a fabulous woman and have three wonderful children together and start my own firm – The Diversity Training Group. DTG has thrived for nearly 15 years.
I think many people are tired of the diversity issues percolating and re-circulating in the workplace, marketplace, and society-at-large, but way too many people just don’t realize that these diversity and inclusion issues are going unacknowledged, unresolved and “will come back over and over again.” The question is not should we fear diversity fatigue but why are so many people so fatigued?
I started to write this article while I was waiting to board a plane to Germany, my native country. My topic is helpfulness. I want to define the cultural differences around giving assistance between members of different nations. I want to share a few experiences here in the United States. They show a level of caring that’s really new to me.
My grandmother Hilda passed away when she was 95 years old. Her funeral was one of the most impressive events I‘ve ever joined. According to my feeling, all the citizens of her and my hometown had come to the cemetery. She was born and she died at the same small town in Northern Bavaria, Germany, which might have been one reason for her fame. She had never left her hometown longer than for a day trip. Another occasion could have been the way she decided to spend her time and live her life.