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Diversity at the top

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in Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

Having more senior-level women in your midst may be a competitive weapon: Research in Europe and the United States shows that companies with several high-level women tend to perform better financially.

Yet women make up just 9.4% of the highest titles in corporations, according to Catalyst.

To promote and retain women more successfully, keep track of indicators, such as the proportion of women in each business unit and their level of employment, the pay levels and attrition rates of men and women in comparable positions, and the ratio of women promoted to women eligible for promotion.

Example: ING links part of each business unit’s bonus pool specifically to diversity goals. In 2007, 30% of ING’s senior managers, including those just below the top level, were women.

— Adapted from “A business case for women,” Georges Desvaux, Sandrine Devillard-Hoellinger and Mary C. Meaney, The McKinsey Quarterly.

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