A few weeks ago, Google agreed to pay $118 million (USD) to settle a gender-discrimination case for 15,550 female workers.

However, while monetary damages were paid, wrong-doing was not admitted. The case was brought to Google alleging systematic discrimination which involved:

  • Female employees being paid less than their male counterparts
  • Locking women into lower career tracks

Google is not alone. Tech giants, Microsoft and Oracle faced simlar suits. While societies have made progress in furthering women’s rights and closing the inequality gap between the sexes; bias whether it be conscious or unconscious remains. 

Covid-19 has brought devastation across the world. It has also badly shaken up the workforce, relegating working women back to domestic life. In fact, women were more likely to be furloughed or laid off during the pandemic than their male counterparts. This was especially true for women of colour. 

Gender equality in the workplace is good economically. When women join the workforce, they increase wages and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In Australia, if they closed their gender employment gap, their GDP would grow by 11%. The gap varies between countries; however, globally the workforce participation numbers are just under 43% of women, and 72% for men. If we could close that gap imagine the amount of money and productivity that would be injected into society!

Gender equality in the workplace is not just the right thing to do; it’s the right way to do business. And while nothing more needs to be added, to further prove the value women bring to the workplace, here are five benefits:


1. Increase Business Profit

Women are just as good of leaders as men. However, the c-suites and company boards across Australia do not reflect that. In fact, with women making up over 50% of the workforce in Australia, less than 20% of them are CEOs.  

It has been found that companies with a gender-diverse leadership team are more likely to outperform their less-diverse peers, with a 30% higher profit margin. This correlation is partly attributed to a diverse team providing unique customer insights (due to a different upbringing / gender perspective) and through inspiring lower-ranked (especially female) employees who can identify with the leadership; thereby increasing retention and lowering business costs. 

The customer insight argument is also supported by a US study that found that 85% of purchases or had influence in purchases were made by women. Yet,  91% of women find that advertisers cannot properly target them. These findings demonstrate a missed opportunity for companies. With women making the majority of purchase decisions, you want to target them, which can be done by having more women on board to give their insight. 


2. Attract A Large Talent Pool

Employees want to work for diverse companies. With the new generations entering the workforce, now is more important than ever to alter the makeup of your company. The days of an ‘old boys club’ are over. A study conducted by Seek found that 73% of Gen Z women consider a diverse workplace ‘essential’ in choosing a new job. To further that, 40% of which favour an employer who had women in leadership roles.

It’s not just Gen Z; millennials also see it as a necessity for businesses. With millennials steadfastly becoming the majority of the workforce, and Gen Z at their heels – for your business to survive and thrive, you need to be proactive in developing and sustaining a diverse and equal workplace. Having that, you will attract a large talent pool that can fill your company with employees who have a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience.


3. Improve Employee Retention

There’s a reason why Hollywood has diverse films with characters of differing race, gender, and socio-economic background – people want to see themselves in the movies they watch. They want to identify with the character. The same goes for jobs. While you might be able to hire someone based on your company’s reputation or brand, you won’t be able to keep them if they can’t see themselves in a leadership role.  

This is supported by Mckinsey & Company finding that in the pipeline of career progression within a company, while it might start out strong, with women (both white and of colour) making up 47% of entry-level positions, by C-Suite level, it’s 21%. The biggest drop was between entry level to managerial positions, a whopping 9% decrease. This is why it’s essential to have a diverse leadership team. 

This idea is further supported by the implementation of the ‘trickle-down’ effect that can change the landscape of the company in regards to diversity across different levels. A study of 1,837 Australian companies found that by increasing women in board-leadership roles by just 10%, it had increased female executive representation by 38%. By having diverse leadership in your company, you encourage women within your company to stay and give them a view of a possible leadership track.


4. Change Your Workplace Culture For The Better

In a candidate-driven market, retention is essential to business survival and success. Having a disproportionate makeup of leaders can negatively impact culture. It’s important to have a diverse leadership team to influence a positive culture that not only fosters diversity in hiring, but also a work culture that doesn’t echo misinformed, harmful behaviour.

Adopting a flexible work culture to encourage mothers to join or rejoin the workforce is beneficial for both genders. Employee experience is the new desired workstyle and flexibility plays a big role in that. In fact, flexibility is connected to higher levels of engaged employees and has become one of the most desired traits for job seekers. 

Employee engagement is also found to increase under female managers. A study from Gallup discovered that employees who work for a female manager are more engaged than under male managers, by six percentage points. A more engaged workplace culture improves employee performance, productivity, and helps retain talent!


5. Increase Job Satisfaction

Dissatisfied and stressed employees are a massive cost burden on organisations, so much so that in the US yearly, it amounts to $30 billion (USD) of lost work days. An unhappy employee increases absenteeism and subsequently, turnover. It doesn’t just affect the individual at hand, but their team, and the company. For example, if an employee misses days of work, someone else has to complete their work, increasing their stress, and in many cases, encouraging them to leave the organisation. 

Additionally, there is a direct correlation between higher rates of job satisfaction and gender diversity in the workplace – for both women and men. For female workers, this refers back to the previous argument of identifying with women in leadership roles. It has been found that by removing the perception of a ‘glass ceiling’, female workers experience greater job satisfaction, especially for younger workers.


Gender equality is essential in the workplace. It’s not a ‘nice to have’, it’s a ‘must-have’, and not making proactive changes that allows women to flourish within your company, will have you left behind.  While the benefits mentioned demonstrate the value gender equality brings, the fact of the matter is – it’s the right thing to do.


About the Author:

Passionate for the written word you are always guaranteed to find Alex either hunched over a laptop with a coffee, reading a book, or writing in her notebook. Paper and post-it's cover her desk - just the way she likes it. She is a staunch advocate for physical books in the book vs e-book debate and won't be convinced otherwise. You would probably find Alex's Desk in the thesaurus as a synonym for Organised Chaos.